Ilford Wanderers taste league defeat for the first time

Ilford Wanderers lost their unbeaten record in the league, with a much below-par performance on Saturday, to a Stanford le Hope team who out-muscled and out-thought their visitors.

The team started well enough, but after gaining possession for the first time, Stanford broke clear following a scrum and with some confusion in the Ilford defensive line, worked an overlap for their right winger to cross in the corner for a converted try.

With the bit between their teeth, the home forwards’ job was made easier on the 18-minute mark when Wanderers prop Lee Morgan was sin-binned for an offence close to the visitors’ line.

Flanker Danny Stephenson was then forced to leave the pitch after receiving a blow to the head, being replaced by Jason Taylor.

Much against the run of play, however, Ilford managed to score a try when, following a couple of passages of smooth play, they were held up on the Stanford line.

It appeared that they had scored through their forwards, but the referee was unsighted and gave an attacking scrum instead.

From the scrum, Wanderers’ George Bye crossed the line after breaking up the blind side.

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Ilford then showed their immaturity, when immediately following the restart, Stanford were awarded a penalty directly in front of the posts. Bizarrely, the attempt was signalled as good by the Ilford touch judge, but not by the Stanford one and so the kick was not awarded.

After the half-time interval the home side were immediately gifted points as Wanderers gave away another penalty.

This time there was no debate about the kick and a few minutes later yet another penalty was conceded with Wanderers finding themselves 13-5 down.

The rest of the half was scrappy and the home team lost their discipline, resulting in three yellow cards and finally a red card for an act of foul play by their winger.

The performance was probably encapsulated in the last action of the match when a try went begging as an Ilford player dropped the ball five metres out from the Stanford try-line with no defenders in front of him.

This Saturday, Wanderers’ first team are at home to Watford in the RFU Junior Vase

Ilford Wanderers: Morgan (Mullins 65), D Marsons, Ewers, Bye, Donovan, Stephenson (Taylor 18), Mullins, P Bailey, Kneeshaw, Marsons, Brooks, Crowley, G Bailey, Meeks, James.

n ILFORD WANDERERS’ A team saw their scheduled match with Rochford cancelled at the weekend, while the B team lost 15-8 to Romford’s fifth team.

The club’s C squad won 12-10 against King Cross Steelers’ second string.

Ilford Wanderers 34 Brentwood 14

ILFORD under-17s continued their impressive start to their Essex League One campaign with a dominant 34-14 win over county champions Brentwood at Forest Road.

Paul Parker and Luke Stimpson’s brace put them on their way, with the other points coming from Conor Wilson, Tom Beadle and Robb.

Meanwhile, the under-16 side fell to defeat against Southend by 27-22.