Nottingham Academy 0 v 8 Ealing Trailfinders Academy
The Academy travelled north up the M1 on Saturday to play a successful Nottingham side who had lost only once in the last two season’s. A pitch inspection prior to departure was required due to the foul weather leading into the weekend, on arrival we could safely say “it’ll take a stud”.
Despite the terrible conditions under foot and over head, the boys were full of enthusiasm throughout the warm up and went on to set the tempo of the game for long periods, dominating possession and territory. However, the mud had a huge influence on the error count for both sides, there were many turnovers and the point of discussion was whether a yellow card was enough for flanker Alfie Hill’s bringing down of a strong maul by the Nottingham forwards (and a couple of backs).
Inside centre Noah Jarvis stood out with his powerful carries and strong leadership of the back line. The fear was that Nottingham proved last season that they can absorb long periods of pressure and counter attack with devastating effect. This season however, our defence has resilience and real bite. Despite many great efforts the 1st half ended scoreless.
The second half was a carbon copy of the first. Ealing playing with ambition despite the conditions, making mistakes but never losing heart, it was from another trademark barrelling run that Jarvis finally broke the deadlock with a great try. Now with the upper hand the Academy kept Nottingham on the back foot and continued to pressure them at every opportunity, finally forcing a penalty in front of the posts which replacement winger Harrison Slater slotted to take the lead to 2 scores which given the conditions was too much to ask.
Academy Director John Lacey “We are all really pleased with the performance, we set our stall out early on, trying to play with the ball in hand despite the conditions, and making a decent fist of it.
We like to play with pace and width and many would say that’s not possible in the kind of conditions we saw today but I think we proved we can still put speed on the game and I think the boys will take a lot from the game.
Nottingham have been very successful over the last couple of seasons and to shut them out today was huge, its our second clean sheet of the season and a real pat on the back for the players and coaches as we have worked really hard to improve our defensive play and individual technique.”
There are a few weeks now before we play the UK armed Forces U23 side, drawn from the very best young players of the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force on 19th March at Vallis Way. This is set to be a great day for all involved in the Academy and hope you can find a gap in your diaries to come along and support the boys in what is traditionally our toughest game of the season.
Ealing Trailfinders Academy
Steadman J, Joseph, Hitchcock C, Jarvis, Adeleke, McMinn, Segre, Gregory, Hill, Day (c), Addison, Ellingham, Chamnaoui, Joyce, Hitchcock T.
Bannister, Vosabalavu, Collins, Armstrong, Gibson, Avis, Luk, Samms, Walker, Slater
Tries – Jarvis
Pens – Slater