After a handsome victory away to Colchester, the Men’s 1sts were brought back down to earth with a bump by Redingensians, who left them with a mountain to climb by scoring three early tries in what otherwise turned out to be an evenly contested game.
The game began at a frantic pace with Ealing looking threatening, but after just two minutes the Redingensians inside centre intercept a loose pass and sped away to score a converted try. Sustained pressure by the visitors a few minutes later led to another try from a clever grubber kick that bounced awkwardly over the try line, enabling a Redingensians player to apply pressure just before the Ealing defence. Over the next ten minutes the home side came back into the game, notably putting the visiting pack under heavy pressure in the set pieces, but quick thinking from turnover ball led to a kick ahead the Ealing defence was unable to gather before a Redingensians player burst through to collect for an unconverted try on the left wing.
With only 23 minutes gone the visitors had already secured their four-try bonus. A knock-on in front of the posts gave them a 5-metre scrum, from which their big forwards drove for the line, eventually creating space for the fly-half to skip over under the posts, leaving Ealing facing a daunting deficit of 24 points. There were finally signs of improvement, with fewer basic errors being made, and on the half-hour mark powerful drives by 2nd rows Sean Kennett and Lewis Ellingham secured a penalty. From the subsequent line-out inside centre Luca Townshend evaded the defence to score under the posts, with fly-half Max McMinn adding the extras.
The second half began with sustained pressure by the visitors, but resolute defence held them at bay, prompting the fly-half eventually to settle for a drop goal to stretch the lead to 27-7. Despite going down to 14 men due to a yellow card, Ealing came close to scoring a second try through replacement forward Kadeem Collins, but the visitors regained possession from a dropped pass, turned defence into attack and eventually scored their fifth try. With 10 minutes to go, strong running by outside centre Brenton Gibson and left wing Andre Adeleke created an opportunity for right wing Rasaam Samms to score in the corner. Rendingensians kicked a penalty and then notched their sixth try of the afternoon with a powerful driving maul, but it was Ealing who concluded the scoring for the day, with full back Callum Nolan-Hutchinson outpacing the defence after being put into space by centres Townshend and Gibson.
Next Saturday sees the Men’s 1sts make the long away trip to mid-table Canterbury in their last game before the Christmas break.
Team: Pat Nash, Liam McDonagh, Felipe Vosabalavu, Lewis Ellingham, Sean Kennett, Travis Gibson Stuart Miller Alfie Hills Domenico Bongani, Max McMinn, Andre Adeleke Luca Townshend, Brenton Gibson, Rasaan Samms, Callum Nolan-Hutchinson
Replacements: Chris Joyce, Tim Hitchcock, Kadeem Collins, Alex Gillespie, Chris Hitchcock