First Team

PREVIEW: Ealing Trailfinders v Clifton 12th December

Another important league game this weekend as Ealing Trailfinders return to Vallis Way following  their history making first win at Westcombe Park.

Clifton RFC make a  welcome return to  Ealing  The Bristol based club are back in N2S this season after dropping down a division after the 2007/08 season, but returned to N2S as Champions of SW1 last season. Many changes occurred at Station Road over the pre season, the arrival of Ex Premiership players Matt Salter ,   Mark "Ronnie" Reagan and England wing David Rees to help their DoR Darren Lloyd plan for their assault on N2S.  Whilst skipper Jay King and the boys won’t see this as a defining game of the season, it will none the less represent a challange in the run up to the half way point of the season. 

Clifton RFC – A brief history

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Clifton Rugby Club was formed on 27th September 1872 at the Kings Arms on Blackboy Hill in Clifton, Bristol. The pub still stands , although it was rebuilt in 1902, and since refurbishment in the late 1990’s was known as Bohemia. It was then renamed Babushka, then Stark and was refurbished and renamed The Black Bear at the end of 2007. It has now (2009) reverted back to its original name of The Kings Arms. We are the 31st oldest club in the United Kingdom, the 20th oldest in England, the 2nd oldest in the South West (Bath beat us by 7 years) and the oldest in Bristol.

We have had 3 players gain international honours while playing for Clifton, James Arthur Bush in 1872, 73, 75, and 76, Hiatt Cowles Baker in 1887 and John Currie 1956-62. Many players have played for their country before or after playing for Clifton, most notable of these are 2 England captains, in 1955 Peter Young and in 1967 Colin McFadyean and the first captain of Wales, James Alfred Bevan, in 1881.

This web site is the most comprehensive history of Clifton Rugby Football Club ever. Not just a history of Clifton Rugby Football Club but also background on the players, what they did outside of rugby, who they were. This has concentrated on the 33 Internationals that have played for Clifton. We have had playing for us 20 England internationals, 4 Scotland, 1 Ireland, 4 Wales, 1 Zimbabwe, 1 Hong Kong, 1 Switzerland and 1 Malta.

Clifton currently sit in 4th position. 8 wins, 1 draw and 3 losses is their return from their 12 outings so far this season. They are the only team to have downed the colours of table toppers Barking , with an injury time try (17-13) , and are unbeaten at home. They have a 50% success rate away from Station Road So who are Clifton’s danger men? Well top try scorer is wing Rob Viol with 12 ( 1 behind our own speedster Phil Chesters ) and his fellow wing Sam Smee on 6, whilst stand off John Barnes has kicked his way to 56 league points. Top of the naught boys list is ex Bristol second row Matt  Salter 

After last week’s 5 point win at Goddington Dean, Ealing’s Director of Rugby Mike Cudmore is happy to be back at Vallis Way,

“Clifton are a good side and that reflects in their current league position.  Both teams are positive in the way they play the game so weather permitting the game should produce a good spectacle for all watching.  We had a good win last week on the road and all are looking forward to delivering a good home performance” 

Previous games between Ealing Trailfinders RFC and Clifton

20/10/07  Ealing Trailfinders 71 Clifton 17

16/02/08  Clifton 22 Ealing Trailfinders 36