Despite spending most of the game in the opposition half and dominating the set scrum, Ealing left it until deep into time added on to salvage a draw against Dorking, who sit just above them in Zoo Shield League 2.
Good pre-match preparation on a warm early April afternoon was surprisingly followed by a lacklustre start in which a try was conceded with barely a minute gone, with a Dorking player twisting his way over the line from a penalty awarded 10 metres from the Ealing line. A second try nearly followed soon afterwards, but the right wing was hauled down by André Adeleke. Ealing gradually started to show signs of improvement, and just after the half-hour mark and with Dorking down a man following a yellow card the ball was worked left from a strong scrum and Adeleke scored out wide. However, the lack of concentration evident at the start of the game again caused problems, enabling the Dorking inside centre to finish off under the posts for a second converted try. Ealing finally started to put some moves together, and skipper John Worthington scored just before the break to leave the game poised at 10-14.
As the second half got under way Ealing pinned the opposition in their own half, but were denied by repeated knock-ons in their eagerness to score and a penalty count greatly in Dorking’s favour. With a quarter of the game to go and both regular kickers nursing leg injuries and unwilling to go for the posts, Ealing opted for a scrum when awarded a penalty close to the Dorking line, but after coming close to breaching the defence were themselves penalised for not releasing. Five minutes later the increasingly dominant Ealing set scrum came close to pushing Dorking off the ball, but the men from Surrey scrambled the ball away and raced upfield, where they won a penalty and increased their lead to 17-10 with a well-struck kick from 40 metres.
The pattern of Ealing setting up promising field positions but knocking on or conceding penalties continued as the game drew towards a close.
Finally, six minutes into time added on desperate defence by Dorking led to a second yellow card. Ealing sensibly opted once again for a scrum, from which Marcus Lowe picked up and powered his way over to finish in front of the posts, leaving the score at 17-15 to Dorking. Joe Smith duly dispatched the conversion to secure a draw, the least Ealing deserved on the balance of play.
This Saturday, 9 April, sees the Men’s 1sts in home action again, hoping for an improved performance after a heavy defeat away to Bury St Edmunds Wolfhounds in the autumn.