Rugby: East London Wyverns keep play-off hopes alive
- Credit: Archant
East London Wyverns kept their play-off hopes alive with a 59-22 win over Millwall seconds.
The top four teams in Shepherd Neame Merit Table Division Three go into a mini competition at the end of the season and a win at South Woodham seconds will guarantee Wyverns a place.
East London dominated their local rivals at Barking, with scrum-half and captain Joe Kelly going through a gap from a scrum for the first try.
Fly-half Ryan Billinghurst set up the next with a neat sidestep to put full-back Nicholas Finch under the posts, then added the conversion to make it 12-0.
And Kelly sent prop Adrian Samuel over for another converted try, before Paul Miller charged through and Billinghurst added the extras once more.
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Millwall hit back a minute later with a converted try of their own, but East London second row Eoin Kelly bustled his way over on 33 minutes, with Billinghurst converting.
And Billinghurst went over himself from Joe Kelly's pass, then converted again to make it 40-7 at half-time.
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Any hopes of an unlikely Millwall comeback were soon squashed in the second half as right wing Andy Till claimed a 15-minute hat-trick.
Till's first try was converted by Wally Scott and, after the second went unconverted, he made sure after his third try with a drop kick from in front of the posts to make it 59-7.
Millwall claimed three tries in the last 17 minutes to give the final scoreline some respectability but East London were convincing winners and head coach Eddie Gooby said: 'We'd like to thank Barking RFC for helping us to get this game on. We go into our final league game at South Woodham in good shape.'
East London's first team are set to return to London Three Essex action on Saturday week (March 21) with a home game against Braintree at the Memorial Ground.
A win could see them climb to third in the table.
East London: Corbett, Davis, Samuel, E Kelly, Eley, Bailes, Hunter, C Brown, J Kelly, Billinghurst, O Brown, Scott, Miller, Till, Finch. Replacements: Khamtonwong, Ames-Reddin, Cassidy, Harvey, Clement, Mohamead, Thurkle.