Rugby World Cup winner Hill inspires East London
15:40 12 March 2014
Win for rugby boys as star watches on
East London 32 Clacton 22
While many from the east end were making the trip to the seaside, Clacton made the resverse trip on Saturday and probably wished they had stayed on the sand after crashing to defeat.
East London were inspired by the arrival of England rugby world cup winner Richard Hill watching from the sidelines as they ran out impressive winners against their Essex League One rivals.
The result was a superb comeback for the hosts at the Memorial Ground in West Ham after they went behind to a try as early as the first minute.
East London responded with a powerful run by winger Tommy Little who floated a perfect pass for centre Ben Dawson to race in under the posts.
They extended their lead with a penalty, but were behind again on the half-hour as Clacton scored a second try.
The visitors led 10-8 at the interval, but on 56 minutes a flowing move saw Little score his second try, which was converted and they extended their lead when fly-half Ali Gonse made a scorching run, before offloading to Michael Groombridge to score under the posts.
Clacton hit back with a try, but East London responded three minutes later when their forwards exerted pressure of their own and Groombridge scored his second try.
Clacton replied again, but then had a forward yellow-carded two minutes before the end and East London scored from the resulting penalty.
Hill, who was attending the club’s annual Chairman’s Lunch, said: “It was a topsy turvy game with both sides giving their all. It is what grassroots rugby is all about.”
East London remain in eighth place in the league and welcome Billericay to the Memorial Ground on March 29.
East London: Gary Pearmain, Will Masters, Richard Clarke, Richard Gregory, Michael Groombridge, Nick Parrot, Sam Alexander, Cameron McPeake, Josh Campbell, Ali Gonse, Ben Dawson, Alex Litowitz, Tommy Little, Sergio Leon, Adam Brown. Replacements: Walter Scott, Dave Hayward, Rob Herbert.