Hitchin U18 12 – 32 Ealing Trailfinders Academy
With the recent bad weather taking its toll on the pitches at Vallis Way the Academy took the decision to give up home advantage and move this RFU Cup fixture to Hitchin whose pitch was in excellent condition and in the bright sunshine there would be no excuse not to play some rugby.
The opening exchanges saw some strong Hitchin tackling hold the Ealing attack, we were probably guilty of taking too much contact in the early part of the game, we also struggled to come to terms with the refereeing of the tackle area so didn’t get the quality of ball we would like, when we adjusted we started to exert some pressure on the Hertfordshire side.
This pressure told and when a penalty was kicked to the corner the forwards formed an irresistible maul and No8 Marcus Lowe came up with the ball to put us ahead. A further penalty was converted into 3 points by fly half Dan Clarke taking the score to 0-8. More indiscipline saw another 5m lineout to the young Trailfinders and this time another powerful drive was finished by a spinning Chris Wells.
Ealing pressed home their advantage in this dominant period when a neat one two between impressive wing Louis Walker and full back Lewis Steadman which saw the latter over for his 6thtry of the season.
Hitchin had the final word of the half though as some casual defending gave the hosts a scrum which was moved into the middle and their centre went over for a converted try.
The second half was a similar showing to the first with Ealing Trailfinders dominating play but being thwarted by good tackling from Hitchin but always looking dangerous. there was some rustiness late on but Marcus Lowe followed up his strong performance for the U23 against Combined Services going over for two more tries taking his tally on the day to three and his total for the season to 12.
Hitchin again had the last word with a try at the death to reward their spirited performance.
Considering the long lay off an encouraging performance from the squad, a trip to Buckingham awaits the Academy in the last 16, but first our focus has to be on next week and ironing out those little mistakes.
See you at training!
Ealing Trailfinders Academy
Steadman, Walker, Cordell, Day (c), Shehabi, Clarke, Hawkins, Lowe, Bush, Avis, Beaumont, Wake, Hitchcock, March, Wells
Czop, Bell, Beavis, Hissey, Leonard-Fox, Ajuchi
Tries – Lowe 3, Steadman, Wells
Cons – Clarke 2
Pens – Clarke