First Team

REPORT: Cambridge 32 v 64 Ealing Trailfinders 1st XV

Ealing Trailfinders ran in 10 tries on their way to blitzing Cambridge 64-32 at Grantchester Road. Ealing Trailfinders cruised into a 54-11 lead before a spirited Cambridge fight-back saw the hosts outscore the league champions 21-10 in the final half-hour of the game.

Ealing Trailfinders had the air of champions as they confidently opened the scoring with Number 8 Sam Shires the beneficiary of an excellent Ealing Trailfinders driving maul, before Owen Bruynseels sneaked in at the right-hand corner, Thomas Wheatcroft converting both scores. Cambridge remained in touching distance thanks to two penalty kicks from the boot of fly-half Albert Portsmouth, but the Blood and Sand knew the evitable attacking onslaught would be unrelenting. Ealing Trailfinders merciless try-scoring was evident on a day perfect for enterprising rugby as they raced in four further scores in a clinical 16 minute period. Forwards and backs combined effortlessly in a high-tempo off-load game that had the hosts’ defence bamboozled. Tries from Richard Townsend, Adam Preocanin, Andrew Henderson and former Cambridge star player Wheatcroft launched the Trailfinders into a 40-6 lead. Against the run of play, Cambridge centre Martin Freeman showed his pace and power as he burst through the Ealing Trailfinders defence to score his team’s first try of the day. However, normal service resumed when Bruynseels finished his second try well to send the Ealing Trailfinders into half-time leading 47-11.

The opening stages of the second half reflected the contrasting league positions of both clubs as Ealing Trailfinders showed glimpses of Championship quality, while Cambridge’s thoughts were evidently on life in National 2. Henderson’s second try of the game extended Ealing Trailfinders lead to 54-11 and emphasised a position of total dominance for the visitors. Cambridge, coached by former All Black flanker Craig Newby, demonstrated the resilient character instilled by the Kiwi to launch a determined fight-back when all was lost in the game. Pat Tapley began scoring proceedings for the hosts when he dived over from close range before Portsmouth, orchestrator of all things good for Cambridge, made light work of Ealing Trailfinders defence to jink his way to the line. As had been the case all season, Ealing Trailfinders took their scoring opportunities with ruthless efficiency as Shires scored his second before Bruynseels completed his hat-trick for the day, extending Ealing Trailfinders lead to 64-25. Cambridge number 8 Steve Hipwell had the last say when he added a fourth try for the Blood and Sand in the 79th minute of play.

This Saturday is the last game on the 2012/13 National League 1 campaign for Ealing Trailfinders Rugby Club, we are pleased to say it is at home in Vallis Way, Ealing. We would like everyone to come and share what will be a historic day for the club. There are lots happening on the day for all the family so come on down and join the celebrations of winning promotion to the Championship.