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East London crowned Essex Intermediate Cup champions after win over rivals Romford

PUBLISHED: 13:00 29 April 2019 | UPDATED: 17:19 29 April 2019

East London RFC vs Romford & Gidea Park RFC, Essex RFU Intermediate Cup Final Rugby Union at Howard Way on 27th April 2019

East London RFC vs Romford & Gidea Park RFC, Essex RFU Intermediate Cup Final Rugby Union at Howard Way on 27th April 2019

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Underdogs East London achieved a deserved 32-29 victory over Romford & Gidea Park to win the Essex Intermediate Cup on Saturday.

East London RFC vs Romford & Gidea Park RFC, Essex RFU Intermediate Cup Final Rugby Union at Howard Way on 27th April 2019East London RFC vs Romford & Gidea Park RFC, Essex RFU Intermediate Cup Final Rugby Union at Howard Way on 27th April 2019

A hat-trick of tries from left wing Sean Cooper was the foundation of the win against a side who finished second in the league above them and went into the game as favourites.

Head coach Eddie Gooby said: “What a magical day for the club. We went in as underdogs by virtue of league places but you would never have known it.

“Never bet against the minnows in a cup competition. This is fantastic for those who played on the day, those who got us to the final, and all our supporters.”

The game played in windy conditions at Harlow was a topsy turvy affair with the lead changing hands several times.

East London RFC vs Romford & Gidea Park RFC, Essex RFU Intermediate Cup Final Rugby Union at Howard Way on 27th April 2019East London RFC vs Romford & Gidea Park RFC, Essex RFU Intermediate Cup Final Rugby Union at Howard Way on 27th April 2019

A turnover resulted in a converted try on 13 minutes for Romford.

They didn't have to wait long for their first points when scrum-half Will Brown took a quick tap penalty and skipper Parrott bundled over the line.

Romford extended their lead on 35 minutes with an unconverted try before the East London forwards set up Cooper for the first of his tries on 37 minutes.

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A converted try at the end of the half saw Romford lead 19-10.

Fly-half Ryan Billinghurst and Stanyard combined to give Cooper an easy run in on the right side.

On 47 minutes East London had the lead for the first time when Cooper timed an interception perfectly and picked off a Romford pass to burst 60 metres from his own half to score before Stanyard converted for 22-19.

Romford got their noses in front again on 51 minutes with an unconverted try but East London came storming back. O'Donoghue kicked through but a Romford defender dropped on the ball as it bobbled over, but play was brought back for a penalty.

They had the lead again on 58 minutes with a fine individual try from Will Brown.

Romford scored an unconverted try with 12 minutes remaining to regain the lead but then had a player yellow carded.

The backs joined the shove to take advantage of the extra man and prop Ben Hogan emerged as the jubilant try scorer.

Skipper Parrott said: “This was our first win in a senior Cup competition for 17 years.

“This has been a fantastic season and makes up for narrowly missing promotion from London 3 Essex.”

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