The Ealing Trailfinders travelled to Cinderford attempting to get back to winning ways. The Christmas period has not been kind to the Ealing Trailfinders side, whereas Cinderford have hit a rich vein of form winning their last 2 games as they look to progress up the table. A bitterly cold Gloucestershire afternoon greeted the players as a vocal crowd welcomed them onto the field. Ealing Trailfinders were on the back foot just minutes into the game when poor defending on the blind side allowed Will Foden to score in the corner. Ex-Gloucester fly-half Rory Teague seemed to be able to turn the Ealing Trailfinders side with ease as he continually found the corners with an impressive kicking display. Ealing Trailfinders found themselves 12-0 down after less than 20 minutes gone on the clock. Simple hands in the Cinderford back-line exposed the Ealing Trailfinders defence and enabled Joe Smart to score from the ensuing ruck. Teague added the extras to make a tough day even more so for Ealing Trailfinders. After a patient attack against a determined Cinderford defence, Ealing Trailfinders eventually scored through Phil Chesters. Ben Ward noticed the acres of space behind the ruck and delicately chipped the ball for the winger to score. Ward’s conversion reduced the score to 12-7. Teague punished Ealing Trailfinders for an off-side offence by slotting a penalty making it 15-7 to the home side. A powerful drive from the line-out took Ealing Trailfinders metres from the try-line. Jon Moyce broke off from the drive beating two defenders to dive over and to put the visitors within a score of Cinderford. Ward’s successful conversion took Ealing Trailfinders to within a point going into the half-time break.
The beginning of the second half was a tight affair as each team were patiently eying up any possible attacking opportunities. Ealing Trailfinders were first on the board as a penalty enabled Ward to kick the West-London side into a 17-15 lead. Ealing Trailfinders then put together their best passage of play of the game. The forwards went through the gears and continuously forced the home side on the back foot. Anders Nilsson took a short ball from close range and burst through a tackle to score and give Ealing Trailfinders a deserved 24-15 lead. Despite Ealing Trailfinders looking in control, George Evans crashed through sloppy defending to take his side within a point with 15 minutes remaining. Cinderford’s risk-free game plan constituting a kicking game, forward possession and aggressive rucking ultimately enabled them to starve the attacking Ealing Trailfinders side for the last quarter. Ealing Trailfinders looked in a solid attacking position with a scrum in the Cinderford 22mt. Unfortunately they were turned over and winger Michael Wilcox received the ball to run the length of the pitch to touch down and take the Foresters back into the lead. Despite their final endeavours Ealing Trailfinders were unable to score again and lost 27-24.
After the game Ben Ward conveyed his disappointment at the result. "We are all disappointed with the result today. It’s another game where we have lost by just a few points but it is small margins that make the difference in this league,” he said.
The Ealing Trailfinders coach also gave credit to Cinderford and the patriotic travelling Ealing Trailfinders support. “Fair play to Cinderford, they had a game plan and executed it well. Thanks to all the support that came to watch, as always it’s greatly appreciated by the players. We will continue to work hard in training this week and look to put on a good performance against Wharfedale this weekend,” said the fly-half.
Ealing Trailfinders will hope to stop their recent loss of form when Wharfedale visit Vallis Way on Saturday 3pm kick off.
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