Ealing Men’s 1sts climbed to 8th in Zoo Shield Division 2 by completing the double over London Irish in driving rain. Just three weeks after a narrow but deserved win in Sunbury, a fixture rearrangement meant another game against the same opposition.
Ealing went straight onto the attack from the kick-off and were only denied an early score by a slight knock-on close to the line. Despite a succession of penalties for Ealing and a yellow card to an Irish player, it was not until a quarter of the way through the game that the pressure finally told, with second-row Charles Mansell scoring under a pile of bodies. Ten minutes London Irish failed to collect a pinpoint kick downfield by scrum-half Tristan McGee, allowing wing Andre Adeleke to scoop up the ball and accelerate away to the line. He finished under the posts to give full-back Steve Verma an easy conversion. With 40 minutes on the clock, Ealing were awarded a penalty on the Irish 22 metre line, and with no time for a line-out Verma took the three points on offer.
The second half produced little to excite the spectators, with a mounting penalty count. However, young Italian scrum half Francesco Bonavolontà produced a moment of magic minutes after coming onto the field as a replacement, chipping ahead on the right wing and touching down before the Irish defence had time to react, for his third try in as many games in an Ealing jersey. With victory assured, a fourth try would have yielded an extra bonus point, but the Irish defence held firm, and on a rare foray into the Ealing 22 metre area the visitors finally put points on the board through their fly-half, following a quickly taken penalty.
This Saturday, 21 November, sees the first of three consecutive away fixtures with a trip to Redingensians, with a 2.00 pm kick-off.