In the first of two friendlies ahead of the new Zoo Shield Division Two campaign, a 25-man Ealing squad had a useful run-out in Roehampton Vale against the Cornishmen, eventually falling just short of victory in a game in which the lead changed hands several times.
Bolstered by several players from the successful Academy, Ealing started brightly. After just five minutes they nearly opened the scoring with a long kick downfield following an interception, which was just too long for wing Andre Adele to collect, but skipper John Worthington dived over soon afterwards for the first try of the new season. With 10 minutes on the clock full back Steve Verma’s try extended the lead to 12 points.
The second quarter of the game, with several changes of personnel, saw Cornish seize the initiative, and forward pressure led to a try out wide on the right, which was well converted. However, a long kick out of defence by Cornish was then collected by Verma, who sped past several would-be tacklers and linked with scrum half Josh Steadman, whose powerful run set up Louis Walker for a fine try on the right wing. Just before the second break, the Cornish forwards fashioned a second try to leave the score at 17-14 to the visitors.
London Cornish moved into the lead in the third quarter despite impressive last-ditch tackling, and extended the lead to 28-17 from a quickly taken penalty that left the Ealing defence outnumbered. Ealing fought their way back into the game and reduced the deficit courtesy of a fine solo effort by Adeleke.
Andre Adeleke on his way to a fine solo try
The visitors then regained the lead with another fine try when flanker Alex Kritikos ran powerfully after being put into space and offloaded to Worthington to finish under the posts.
With time running out, Cornish worked the ball wide from a penalty to move 33-31 ahead, and Ealing just failed to pull off victory with the last move of the match when Adeleke put a foot in touch in the act of scoring.