East London primed for trip to league leaders Epping after making cup semi-finals
PUBLISHED: 16:00 29 November 2018
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Memorial Park club beat divisional rivals Barking in Essex Intermediate Cup last Saturday
East London return to London Three Essex action on Saturday when they visit leaders Epping Upper Clapton.
The Memorial Park club will be chasing a fifth straight league win this weekend, but know it will be tough against an Epping side who have lost just once this term.
Ahead of Saturday’s game, East London are four points and two places below Epping in the table.
However, a win on Saturday, coupled with a defeat for Chelmsford who are second, could see them take over at the summit.
East London face Epping in confident mood after beating divisional rivals Barking in the Essex Intermediate Cup quarter-finals.
Under the Friday night lights at home, the Memorial Park club recorded a 27-17 win, but needed extra time to do so.
Andrew Little, Alex Mylchreest and Mantas Urbonavicious all dotted down for East London in regulation time, but the sides were level at 17-17 after 80 minutes.
The home side’s greater fitness told with a Ryan Billinghurst penalty and a converted Matt Schofield try eventually seeing them triumph.
East London had previously beaten Barking 29-12 in the league in September and coach Eddie Gooby was full of praise for how far their opponents had come in such a short space of time.
“We had to put in a massive shift to overcome a much improved and good Barking squad,” said Gooby.
The coach of the Memorial Park side was also pleased with the turnout for the game on Friday, adding: “We are grateful for the fantastic support we received.”
East London now have a semi-final to look forward to in the New Year, though a date and opponent is yet to be confirmed at the time of writing.
Before all that, however, comes the clash with league leaders Epping on Saturday.
The fixture marks the start of a run of three league matches over successive weekends for East London before a break over Christmas.
After facing Epping, the Memorial Park club also take on local rivals Kings Cross Steelers and Campion before the festive period.
And East London will hope they can triumph in all three fixtures to give their title challenge a real boost.
*Kings Cross Steelers return to league action with a home match against Old Cooperians this weekend.
They won 23-3 at Canvey last time out on November 17.