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Park unable to send skipper James out with cup win

PUBLISHED: 15:00 03 May 2019

East London score a try and celebrate against Romford & Gidea Park during Essex Intermediate Cup Final (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo).

East London score a try and celebrate against Romford & Gidea Park during Essex Intermediate Cup Final (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo).

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468

Having just missed out on promotion and a cup win, Romford will take stock for the summer and return motivation for the new season

East London players give a guard of honour to Romford & Gidea Park and captain Micky James, who stepped down at the end of the season (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo).East London players give a guard of honour to Romford & Gidea Park and captain Micky James, who stepped down at the end of the season (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo).

Romford & Gidea Park were on the wrong end of an upset on Saturday after East London got the better of them in the Essex Intermediate Cup final.

After a tremendous campaign, Jordan Wigham's team had hoped to finish on a high with a victory in the last fixture of the season.

It was also Micky James' final match as captain, but London Three Essex outfit East London earned a famous 32-29 win.

The encounter which took place at Harlow was an exciting affair and the lead changed hands on numerous occasions.

Park started the better of the teams and grabbed the opener in the 13th minute, but underdogs East London hit back soon after.

A manic period at the end of the half saw Romford cross over twice more and concede another as it finished 19-10 at half time.

East London came out fighting at the start of the second period and a flurry of points saw them take a 22-19 lead.

Wigham's team displayed more character, though, and with 68 minutes gone, they were back in front, but they then saw a player sent to the sin-bin.

It would prove costly with East London going over one more time to secure a 32-29 victory which sparked wild celebrations in front of a large crowd.

Park were left frustrated as their excellent season ended without silverware, but they could be proud of the strides they have made this campaign.

For captain James, it was not the way he wanted his tenure as skipper to finish, but during his 10-year stint, he has led Romford to seven finals.

An overall record of played seven, won three and lost four is nothing to scoff at and the hope is he will still be part of the squad next season.

Having just missed out on going back up to London One North, Park will now take stock for the summer and return motivated for the new 2019/20 campaign.

Romford finished with 80 points in London Two North East this season, 14 points behind champions Woodford, and a big improvement on their 43-point tally from the previous term.

Wigham, who took over as head coach prior to the 2017/18 season, has already committed his future to the Crow Lane club along with Paul Cook for three more years.

Together with director of rugby Steve Barfoot, they will attempt to lead Romford back to London One North in 2020.

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