Ealing Amateurs rounded off a highly successful season by adding the North-West Middlesex Floodlit Cup to their promotion-winning campaign in Zoo Shield Division 3 South, outscoring their local rivals by four tries to one in an entertaining encounter.
It was a repeat of last year’s final and Ealing made their usual strong start, with the pack showing the first signs of an ascendancy that was to become more emphatic as the game went on and full-back Steve Verma put the first points on the board with a penalty awarded for offside after five minutes.
Ruislip’s defence remained unbreached despite probing runs by captain and No 8 Adam Hulmston, second row Sean Kennett and Verma, and following another penalty the referee issued a yellow card to the visitors and Verma slotted his second three-pointer.
Ruislip put together their first meaningful attack from the re-start and eventually came away with three points from a Joe Mathems’ penalty after Ealing’s defence drifted offside.
Ealing looked the more likely to score next but an overlap went begging and a potential scoring pass was knocked on. With a quarter of the game gone, Ruislip took the lead when a tactically astute cross-field kick to the left wing led to a penalty being given away by the scrambling defence, and their second row Jerry Malawakula powered over for a try that Mathems converted.
However, Ealing dominated the last 10 minutes of the first half and after flanker Mike Whitney had come close to scoring Hulmston picked up from the base of a scrum and had the strength to shake off the defence and touch down in the right-hand corner. With the conversion attempt narrowly missing, the Amateurs reached the break with a slender one-point lead.
As rain began to fall the second half proved to be a more one-sided affair, in which Ealing scored 17 unanswered points.
On 45 minutes fly-half Alex Gillespie sent a long, raking penalty into touch and second-row John Worthington touched down following an unstoppable driven lineout, with Verma adding the conversion.
Five minutes later hooker Liam McDonagh intercepted a Ruislip pass and quickly turned defence into attack with a floated pass out to Pascal Baptiste on the left wing and he finished emphatically to stretch the lead to 23-10. A fourth try followed just before the three-quarter mark from another catch and drive, this time scored by Kennett.