Old Albanian 12 – 50 Ealing Men‘s 1sts

The Men’s 1sts recorded their third league victory of the season, running in seven tries against previously unbeaten Old Albanian at their impressive ground in St Albans.

An aggressive start against the league leaders, who had suffered some late call-ups from the 1st XV for their away trip to Darlington, led to an easy penalty by No 10 Max McMinn for offside. OAs responded well for the next 5 minutes but put their own penalty attempt wide. A quarter of an hour into the game Ealing nearly scored with a kick and chase by wing Andre Adeleke but soon afterwards did notch the first try of the day when prop Fillipe Vasabalavu stretched to ground the ball on the line after being tackled just short. The visitors continued to dominate and scored again through flanker Charlie Bannister under a pile of bodies, with McMinn adding the extras.

OAs slowly came back into the game, but were kept at bay by resolute defence, and against the run of play it was Ealing who scored again through Adeleke, who was put into space and easily outpaced his would-be tacklers.

A half-time lead of 22 points was extended to 29 with the fourth, bonus-point try of the afternoon, centre Luca Townshend touching down under the posts. Old Albanian then finally earned some reward for their endeavor with a fine try by their fly-half, but this was immediately cancelled out when Townshend gathered an awkwardly bouncing grubber kick from McMinn to finish under the posts. A period of renewed OA pressure led to another excellent score by the No 10.

Replacement scrum half Domenico Bongani scored his team’s sixth try and, as OA’s numbers were depleted by a rising injury count, Ealing made the most of the space available to put Chris Hitchcock into space for a seventh and final try.

This week the Men’s 1sts take a break from league action before a home game against league newcomers Westcliff.

Tries: Vasabalavu, Bannister, Townshend (2), Adeleke, Bongani, Hitchcock
Conversions: McMinn (5), Nolan-Hutchison (1)
Penalty: McMinn