Ealing Amateurs 1sts started the New Year with their thirteenth straight victory but were given a stern test in a friendly against Belsize Park, currently sitting mid-table in Herts Middlesex Division 1.
There were no signs of post-Christmas torpor as Ealing attacked from the kick-off, only a last-ditch tackle preventing an early try. It was then Park’s turn to mount a sustained attack, but after the first 25 minutes there was still no score. The stalemate was finally broken when No 8 Adam Hulmston picked up from a scrum and powered over under the posts, with Alex Gillespie adding the conversion. Despite a period of pressure the home side were unable to add to their tally before half-time.
Soon after the break Ealing were guilty of missing early tackles on the dangerous Park left wing, who sped away down the touch line for a converted try. Within two minutes the seven-point margin was restored when fly-half Andy Jack, on as a replacement for Gillespie, found a gap in the visiting defence following good work by the forwards. Jack converted his own try from half-way out.
Ten minutes into the second half winger Pascal Baptiste, on for the injured Jonny Murphy, extended the lead by squeezing over from quickly recycled ball following a barnstorming run by flanker Des Crinion, Jack again adding the extras. Belsize Park then hauled themselves back into contention with a converted try by finally working an overlap after repeatedly pounding the Ealing line, but with no further addition to the score the Amateurs held onto their 100% record for the season.
Ealing Amateurs 2nds meanwhile achieved an excellent 29-7 victory in muddy conditions against Belsize Park 2nds, with tries by Rhys Langford (2), Tom Bignell and Fabio Krasniqi. Finally Ealing Evergreens were leading SODAM Vets 12-0 when this game was abandoned due to an injury to a SODAM player, who we wish a speedy recovery.
This Saturday, 12 January, the Amateurs 1sts and 2nds are back in league action, away to Ruislip II and home to Chiswick Chiefs respectively.