REPORT: Ealing Trailfinders 1st XV 38-29 Southend

Whilst the final score reflected the home side’s dominance of this N2S encounter, Ealing Trailfinders had to fight back from a 5-20 half time deficit to claim all 5 league points against a gritty Southend outfit.

Ealing started the stronger, and after three minutes a disputed call from referee James Mathews, led to a  5m lineout being awarded to Ealing. Scrum half Paddy Gill’s pin point cross field kick was gratefully collected for wing Phil Chesters to dot down for his 14 try of the season.

Southend wing, Andy Frost replied with a 8th minute penalty.  Ealing with the wind in their faces tried to play with the ball in hand in order to retain possession, they counter attacked well and make good  ground up the pitch but were unable to take advantage of the territory . 

Some slack defending, within the closing 10 minutes of the half led to Southend’s outside centre, Mike Stanley , crossing for two tries. Both tries were converted by Andy Frost , to give the seasiders the advantage at half time, 5-20.

The second half was a completely different affair, fly half Ben  Ward (Ealing)  started to take control of proceedings. Some sloppy play inside the visitors own 22 gave Ealing a scrum, the ball coming back to Ward, who found a gap to feed centre Markus Burcham to cross for the home sides second try of the day on 42 minutes, Ward adding the extras to make it 12-20.

Southend seemed to lose confidence as Ealing  turned the screw, the game effectively even at this stage seemed destined for a home victory.

Ward and Frost exchanged penalties on 45and 59 minutes.

The visitors started to creek as the Ealing forwards cranked up the pressure. Ward used this dominance to make space for himself again to feed wing Bryan Young who crossed for a try on 53 minutes. Ward adding the extras to make it 27-23 to the home side.

Further tries were added by replacement Owen Bryunseels with his first touch of the ball,and a second for Markus Burcham. Ben Ward added the conversions for both and put over a penalty to seal Southend’s fate. A late consolation try by Southend replacement Danny Cleare could not hide the fact that the visitors had no answers  to Ealing Trailfinders second half display.

Director of Rugby Mike Cudmore added, "the first half started well but we were all disappointed with certain aspects of our delivery for most of it.  We spoke about this at half time and all knew what was required.  Our tempo, control and effectiveness improved and this reflected in the thirty four points we scored in the second half.  When you ask for a reaction like that and get it, it is pleasing.  We need to work hard in training this week and prepare for a tough away game at Westcombe Park on Saturday”

Ealing Team:

15 Hodgkinson 14 Young 13 Burcham, 12 Price, 11 Chesters, 10 Ward, 9 Gill, 8 Hall, 7 King (c), 6 Morris, 5 Winterbottom, 4 Gregory, 3 Alexopoulos, 2 Hodson, 1 Charlton

Replacements: 16 Kuwana, 17 Buchanan, 18 Davies, 19 Wallace , 20 Bruynseels