REPORT: Bridgewater & Albion 15 – 54 Ealing Trailfinders 1st XV

Ealing Trailfinders’ trip to Somerset proved to be a fruitful one as they came away with a 15-54 victory, securing all five league points and with it keeping hold of second place in National 2 South. Leaders Barking also won, whilst our visitors to Vallis Way next weekend, Rosslyn Park, although winning against Dings Crusaders, failed to secure a bonus point. It leaves the top of the table unchanged, Barking and Ealing level pegging on 80 points, with Rosslyn Park in 3rd on 77 points.

Director of Rugby Mike Cudmore was positive after the game, but will be aware of the challange that Park pose this weekend. Mike said, "We were very clinical in the first half against Bridgwater but felt we did not produce the same level of quality in the second period.  The important thing was to get the Shelford game out of our system and get back to winning ways.  The Rosslyn Park game will be very competitive, as you expect from two sides at the top of the table.  Big games are won by teams who deliver on the day so we will be working hard this week in training in preparation for the game and look to take it onto the pitch.  All are looking forward to the game and producing a good home performance for our supporters "

Bridgwater have had their own problems this season and unfortunately for them they continued at the weekend, with further injuries to their depleted side.

Ealing were in no mood for charity at the weekend after their loss to Shelford the previous weekend. An early penalty miss by Ben Ward was an early blemish, as Ealing began to dominate proceedings, showing their free flowing style of rugby that has become a trademark of their season.

Phil Chesters crossed for the first of his two tries on 24 minutes, Ward adding the two points.  An early yellow card on 24 minutes to skipper Matt  Hastie was the impetus for Ealing to move through the gears, and Chesters’ fellow wing, Owen Bryunseels, was on the end of a superb move for the first of his three tries of the day. Ben Ward striking a superb conversion from the right hand touchline.

Bridgy number 8 Greg Charlton pulled back 3 points on 29 minutes with a well struck 42m penalty, but the relief was short lived as Bruynseels crossed on 33 minutes from a crossed field kick from the impressive Ben Ward, who then added the conversion to take the score to 21-3 to the visitors.

The home side’s indiscipline continued on 36 minutes as centre Jacob Childs was shown a yellow card for infringement at the ruck . Quick thinking from Ben Ward saw him take quick tap penalty and go over on 36 minutes, whilst Bruynsells completed his first half hatrick on 39 minutes to take the visitors into half time 35-3 up.

The relentless pressure on the home side did not stop, and straight after half time, full back Pete Hodgkinson, who had an excellent game throughout, scored out wide on the left. It was left to Ward to add the extra two points. The home side pressed Ealing back into their 22, but stealing the ball at the breakdown Ealing moved the ball into the wide expanses, finding the speedy Phil Chesters, he crossed for his second of the day. Ward again adding the conversion.

Bridgwater wing Damian Griffin gave the home supporters something to cheer about, being on the end of a well worked move to go in wide on the left, the conversion was missed.

On 60 minutes young flanker Luke Wallace was replaced by the influential Dave Essien and a favourite of the home supporters (having played his early rugby for Taunton). His introduction led to an almost immediate try and after a typical barnstorming run led to Ealing’s 8th and Ben Ward’s 7th conversion of the day.

Home skipper Matt Hastie had the last say for Bridgewater on 71 minutes, but by then the game was far far away from the home team. Ealing dominated in all phases but to their credit Bridgwater & Albion never gave up.

Ealing’s hat trick hero Owen Bruynseels said after the game "The result was a pleasing one, it was important that after last Saturday we bounced back with a good win. As a team we put together some great passages of play, securing the bonus point before half time, and on a personal note it’s always pleasing when you score three in a game! I’m sure that as a team we’ll look at our performance and see areas where we can improve in the build up to the game against Park on Saturday."

Ealing Trailfinders skipper Jay King said "The fixture against Bridgwater was our 3rd on the road in a row. It was a good reaction to the disappointing loss the previous week. There were some great elements to our game. The try from our own line, was a particular highlight. Now we are looking forward to this weekend’s game against Park. We will approach it with the same level of commitment that we do for all games."

This coming weekend Ealing welcome to Vallis Way 3rd placed Rosslyn Park. This promises to be another table topping game, kick off is 2pm . 

For match photos please visit –

Our thanks to Bob Hatchers of Sports South West for providing these photos also  to Harry Thrump for taking them.

Ealing Trailfinders team:

15 – Pete Hodgkinson 14 – Owen Bruynseels 13 – Markus Burcham 12 – Joe Price 11 – Phil Chesters 10 – Ben Ward 9 – Paddy Gill 1 – Steve Neville 2 – Jon Moyce 3 – Sungo Kuwana 4 -Blair Morris 5 – James Winterbottom 6 – Luke Wallace 7 – Jay King (captain) 8 – Guthrie Hall

16 – Lewis Brown 17 – Kieran Power 18 – Gethin Davies 19 – Dave Essien 20 – Richard Briggs