Despite wet and miserable late January weather, Ealing Men’s 1sts and Tring produced some entertaining rugby, scoring five tries apiece, with Tring completing the league double courtesy of a touch-down from the last play of the game.
Tring began brightly, but a speculative looping pass out towards the left wing was joyfully intercepted by Ealing winger Rasaan Samms, who sped away unopposed to score under the posts, with No 10 Dan Thomas adding the extras. 11 minutes into the game, the visitors reduced the deficit with a penalty that went over after hitting the upright, and the Ealing defence was finally breached with a quarter of the game gone, when a well-judged kick ahead landed just short of the line and was gathered by a Tring forward to score. Ealing’s pack, in which Evergreens captain Jake Usher put in a typically rumbustious performance, began to dominate the set pieces, and when a 5-metre penalty was awarded it was an easy choice to opt for a scrum.
Veteran Jake Usher soars like a bird
No 8 Kadeem Collins, who had a busy afternoon throughout, controlled the ball wall as the Ealing pack headed for the line and touched down for a try converted by impressive Men’s 1sts debutant Thomas.
Kadeem Collins on the charge
Tring regained the lead just after the 30 minute mark, exploiting a gap in the home defence. With a break by centre Charles Mansell just failing to produce a try on the stroke of half-time, it was Tring who went into the break leading 15-14.
The visitors extended the lead to four points soon after the resumption with a penalty for offside, but Ealing moved one point ahead when Thomas made a break and passed to centre Luca Townshend, who was hauled down just short, scrum half Victor Zelaya being on hand to seize the loose ball and dive over. Another penalty to Tring saw the lead change hands yet again, but within two minutes a cross-field kick was gathered by replacement Chris Rose, who had more than enough power to make it to the try line,Thomas adding the extras.
Chris Rose about to score
Tring levelled the scores with a quarter of the game to go, before Ealing pulled ahead again through wing Lewis Steadman. A fourth Tring try brought the score back to parity, and a hard-fought draw looked the likely outcome until the visitors eventually forced their way over after a period of late pressure.
This Saturday, 3 February, Ealing Men’s 1sts are at home to Henley.