Ilford Wanderers suffer loss to promotion hopefuls East London in last match of term
PUBLISHED: 17:00 10 April 2019
Ilford Wanderers fell to a 27-10 defeat to second-placed East London in their final fixture of the London Three Essex season.
End-of-season games very often have no real meaning to either side, but East London were keen for the win to give them a home tie in the promotion play-offs.
Unfortunately for them it was Ilford who looked the likely promotion candidates, pressing hard into the home side’s half only to allow East London off the hook with sloppy handling.
In fairness East London took their opportunities well to score three unanswered tries, but their coaching team may be a little concerned that they were living off scraps.
Ilford also, given their dominant forward pack, will rue three tries going begging to forward passes but may find consolation in their overall performance.
The second half looked to be following a similar pattern as East London opened the scoring with a try and with Ilford being hit with game-ending injuries to four players things started to look ominous for the Forest Road side.
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But as has seen before this season against high-flying opposition, the Wanderers gathered themselves, with 12 fit players left on the park to score two tries, split by another for East London.
Ilford had no option but to go to tight forward drives which East London found irresistible.
Jason Taylor first smashed his way over and then flanker Lawrence Brown was last up with the ball after a powerful nine-man drive.
Captain Jason Taylor said: “This is a sweet and sour feeling. With a depleted side, before and during the game, we pushed the second-place team hard.
“Our forwards put in a shift, but our mistakes changed the game.
“We’re proud of beating our mid-table target and the fact that we have beaten three of the four teams above us.
“It’s been a long hard season, but already the talk is of next year and maybe going a bit further.”
Ilford finished the season in fifth place having won 12 of their 22 league fixtures in a season of mixed fortunes throughout the campaign.