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Ilford Wanderers set sights on new challenge after final-day rugby win

PUBLISHED: 13:00 19 April 2013

Ilford Wanderers (red, white and green hoops) do battle with May & Baker in their Essex Division Two derby at Fairlop last weekend

Ilford Wanderers (red, white and green hoops) do battle with May & Baker in their Essex Division Two derby at Fairlop last weekend

Archant

Ilford Wanderers ended their season with a workmanlike win over local rivals May & Baker and will now start preparing for life in Essex One after clinching the runners-up spot.

They did not get off to the best of starts as they found themselves 6-0 down after 20 minutes following a pair ofpenalties.

Then, to compound things further, they lost full back Tom James to a freak injury when unchallenged under a high ball.

But despite dominating possession the visitors failed to test the Ilford line and the hosts gradually grew into the game.

The spark was lit by centre Ryan McCarthy who made a barnstorming run through Baker’s middle.

From an ensuing line-out the Ilford pack’s rolling maul built pressure and another line-out followed which saw hooker Damon Marsons go over for the try, converted by brother Terry for a 7-6 lead on the half hour mark.

Persistent infringements from the Wanderers led to the visitors establishing a 12-7 lead at the break, via two more penalties, and they were fortunate not to see more players sent to the sin bin.

With the strong team talk still ringing in their ears, Ilford rose to the challenge in the second half and the pack pushed Bakers off their own scrummage ball.

The hosts worked through the phases before Terry Marsons brushed off three tackles to touch down and added the conversion for a 14-12 lead on 45 minutes.

Bakers were now under extreme pressure and found themselves further behind when Ilford’s stalwart lock Paul Bailey crossed the try line following a driving maul from a line-out.

The tide had well and truly turned in Ilford’s favour as the visitors began to infringe more and more, which led to a penalty, only for Marsons’ kick to rebound off a post.

But Ilford soon profitted from another driving maul as Dermot Mullins emerged to cross the try line and move them 24-12 ahead.

With the win secured many sides may have taken their foot off the pedal, but Ilford continued to go on the attack and the crowd that braved the bad weather were rewarded late on.

Terry Marsons squeezed in at the corner from the last play of the game to complete his 14-point individual haul and seal a worthy win against tough opposition.


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