Ealing Amateurs 1sts maintained their unbeaten record with another high-scoring win, recording their seventh score in excess of 40, and in the process completed the double over Rosslyn Park IV in Middlesex Merit Table I.
On a bright but cold winter’s day, the home side came under pressure from the kick-off and conceded a penalty in front of the posts, which the visiting No 10 duly turned into three points. However, with four minutes on the clock Ealing took the lead when No 8 Adam Hulmston, fed by fly half Alex Gillespie after a series of pick-and-goes, powered through a couple of attempted tackles to touch down near the right touch-line. Jonny Murphy’s conversion attempt narrowly missed. After an evenly contested period, Ealing showed their ability to create something out of nothing when new recruit full-back Tom Riddell collected a low pass and chipped over the visiting defence. He came close to re-gathering, but was defeated by the unpredictable bounce of the ball, and it was flanker Des Crinion instead who followed up to reach the ball first and dive over, making the score 10-3. Within two minutes second-row Jonathan Haigh scored under the posts, and with Murphy converting Ealing were handily placed at 17-3. Although further tries looked likely before half-time, three or four marginal forward passes meant that there was no further addition to the score.
Straight from the kick-off Haigh and flanker Andrew Tew carried the ball deep into Rosslyn Park territory, centre Rhys Langford came close to crossing the try line and quickly recycled ball enabled wing Stephen Verma to skip over the line. A fine conversion from far out by Murphy left the score at 24-3. The lead was further extended when Verma set off on a mazy run and had the awareness to offload to Olly Miller when hauled down just short of the line. Miller’s try was followed by a second for Verma, twisting out of a tackle following a rolling maul. The deficit was reduced when Rosslyn Park finally worked an overlap after a succession of penalties, but was extended again when full-back Riddell fielded a kick deep in the Ealing half and ran back at the opposition. Good linking play by the home forwards led to a try by Tew. The game ended with Ealing under concerted pressure and conceding a succession of penalties, but the ball was eventually turned over and cleared to touch.