PREVIEW: 1st XV v Dings Crusaders RFC 1st XV Saturday 30th January

Following the trip to the Garden of England that is Kent and the victory over Canterbury, Ealing Trailfinders return to Vallis Way this weekend, to take on Dings Crusaders.

As can be seen by our previous results against Dings, our trips to Landseer Avenue have not always come out in our favour! One positive thing is that they have never won at Vallis Way, something that won’t worry the squad, as they treat every game as it comes.

Ealing Trailfinders lock James Winterbottom is aware of the threat that Dings bring,  "Our result against Canterbury last weekend, was really pleasing. To go away from home and perform well after almost a month of postponed matches says a lot about the focus we have as a squad. However we need to take another step forward this weekend. Dings are a very physical team and we will need to be at our very best to beat them. With Park and Barking playing each other this weekend a home win for us will ensure we remain in contention for promotion and put pressure on those around us."

The History of Dings Crusaders Rugby Football Club – In the beginning

The "Dings" was a notorious slum area in Bristol between Temple Meads and Barton Hill (it provided many of the most enthusiastic rioters in the Bristol riots of 1831). The Shaftsbury Crusade was a Christian Mission in the Dings, and encouraged sporting activities. In 1897 H W Rudge founded and established the Dings Crusaders as a part of the Dings Boys Club, one of the activities of the Shaftesbury Crusade, he was the original driving force behind the club and acted as secretary for about 30 years and then went on to be President.

As well as our own club Dings Crusaders RFC there was also another club called Dings RFC that was founded in 1895, and to confuse things further we both played in the same colours – blue and white.

Whilst Dings RFC played their games on the field at St Phillips Marsh called the Yearlings just across the Avon from Arnos Castle. Dings Crusaders played far away on the Downs. Ultimately Dings Crusaders survived and Dings did not. It is possible that the two clubs joined forces. Of the sixteen clubs that formed the original Combination in 1901. Dings Crusaders and Saracens are the only clubs to have run continually and are still playing today.

The first recorded club game was played on October 1st 1898 against Elton St Michael’s which we lost 5-15; the next fixture with St Mary’s against whom we have played every season since then, and who were the only team to draw with them when they were unbeaten during the season before the last war.

Dings in 2010

Dings currently lie in 8th position having won 5, drawn 2 and lost 9 of their 16 games played so far. Their away form is the Achilles heal, having only once away from Landseer Avenue,  drawn one and lost on 5 occasions.

Although fly half Adam Westall tops the Dings points scoring list with 65, he has been missing in the past few games. Top of the try scoring list is wing George Watkins on 7, followed by Orlando Scott and Gavin Curry on 5 each. Open side flanker Stern Williams tops the unwanted mantle of receiving 3 yellow cards of the 11 Dings have got!

Dings form going into this encounter has been patchy, 2 wins from their last 6 games, a loosing bonus point at Shelford last week, was preceded by a home loss to our hosts of last week, Canterbury . Their away form as with many sides has been their problem, 1 win and 1 draw their return from their trips on the road from their 7 games. 

Director of Rugby, Mike Cudmore, will be looking to build on what he saw as a positive performance,"We will be looking to build on last weeks performance against Canterbury. Although we played well last week there were areas in our game that we need to improve on and we will be working on this in training.  When you play Dings the games are always a very competitive and the team know what is required for them and what they need to deliver" 

Previous results between Ealing Trailfinders & Dings

10/10/09  Dings 22 Ealing Trailfinders 29

11/04/09  Dings 33 Ealing Trailfinders 29

20/09/08 Ealing Trailfinders 46 Dings 9

26/01/08 Dings 18 Ealing Trailfinders 12

29/09/07 Ealing Trailfinders 37 Dings 7