Academy U20 fail to press home advantage against Bedford Blues

Bedford Blues Academy v Ealing Trailfinders Academy lost 24-10

2 severe road accidents and a misunderstanding regarding age groups meant a fractured build up to this weeks fixture at Goldington Road, home of Bedford Blues Academy.

Trailfinders Academy started very well and forced mistakes from the Blues who have taken the scalps of Premiership Academies and Representative side this season. strong carrying from the forwards gave half backs Chico U’Chong and Keano Van Dieman a succession of attacking opportunities, silly mistakes broke up play before a dropped pass lead to a Bedford counter attack and 4 phases later the young Trailfinders were under their posts, harsh lessons to be learned about cherishing possession.

More good play from two evenly matched sides saw penalty chances missed, one successful attempt by U’Chong cut the lead to 5-3. Far too many penalties conceded lead to a team yellow for prop Zaki Chamnaoui and a further yellow for fly half Keano Van Dieman saw Ealing pinned on their own line repealing attack after attack, but brave tackling prevented Bedford extending their lead.

The secong half saw Ealing start powerfully, attacking the Bedford defenders and stretching the field despite being a man down. A well worked 5m attacking line out was driven over, No8 Marcus Lowe got just rewards for another impressive performance, coming up with the try which was skilfully converted by U’Chong. Excellent back line play typified by runs from Matt Killeen and Dylan Van Dieman drew further penalties but points were refused, which may have been regretted in hindsight.

At 50mins Ealing had to withdraw their U20 players and the wholesale changes and position swaps saw the game change. Bedford strength in depth was crucial and their class shone as attack after attack was repelled but inevitably scores came and the game finished with clear water between the sides.

On reflection, a rewarding day for Ealing Trailfinders Academy, we are beginning to find our feet at higher levels, some very young players are being exposed to high quality, high intensity environments. The next target for our young players is aintaining the level of performance they showed next week and beyond.

Congratulations to U17 players Ben Retter, Josh Steadman, Lewis Ellingham, Fergus Connor and Alex Hogg who made his debut, also making their debuts were U18 scrum half Jack Hissey and prop Bilal Baajour.

Next up is London Scottish Academy at The RAA on 28th February, hope to see you there.