REPORT: Ealing Cougars 28 – 23 Hammersmith & Fulham

Ealing Cougars Come back from the dead to win the Middlesex Merit Table Final.

Ealing Cougars showed tremendous heart and fighting spirit in a second half fight back to lift their 7th trophy in nine years at Wasps training ground on Saturday. The Cougars started well and should have had a try in the first few minutes after a break from Andy Jack but the ball was knocked on with the line beckoning. They then had another try disallowed for a dubious forward pass. A serious injury to a Hammersmith & Fulham player stopped the match and it was moved onto another pitch.

Ealing then scored a quick try after some slack defending by Hammersmith & Fulham allowed Ed Joyce to glide in untouched. Hammersmith & Fulham reacted in the right way and after an infringement got a penalty on the halfway which was slotted by their winger. Hammersmith & Fulham continued to put Ealing under Immense pressure which finally told and driving maul saw them score an unconverted try. Hammersmith & Fulham then capitalised on a mix up in the back line to score another try, this time converted. The Cougars tried to get back into the match but gave away another penalty which was converted by their winger. The score at half time was 18 -5 to Hammersmith & Fulham.

The second half was moved back to the main pitch and after some stern words in the half time break the Ealing Cougars came out for the second half with renewed vigor, The Cougars made several breaks only to be thwarted by fierce Hammersmith & Fulham defence. After a good passage of play the ball was spun wide and No.8 James Playll was able to barge his way over in the corner, The fight back was on. Another try followed after a fantastic elusive run from Owen Price who flicked a ball to Eoghan O’sullivan to go over in the corner. Hammersmith & Fulham looked visibly shaken and gave away a penalty just inside their half. Andy Jack stepped up and fired it over to level the scores. Hammersmith & Fulham then rallied and after some good play found themselves with a big overlap and went in for another score. The game was into the last ten minutes and the Cougars again responded and Des Crinion who had been superb all game broke a couple of tackles to go over and once again level the scores. In the dying minutes of the match the Cougars poured on the pressure and after a countless amount of phases they spun the ball wide again to find No.8 James Playll in space again for his second try of the day and the winner.

It was a fantastic fight back and a truly great game of rugby and a very fitting end to what has been a great season for the Cougars in which they have played 20 games only losing two with a 15 game winning streak.

Try scorers:  James Playll 2 ,Ed Joyce,Eoghan O’Sullivan, Des Crinion

Penalties: Andy Jack

Man of the Match: Des Crinion

Squad:-

1. Ash Spencer

2. Liam McDonagh

3. Phil Cotter

4. Simone Falco

5. John Haigh (Capt)

6. Brian Kennedy

7. Des Crinion

8. James Playll

9.  Oli Miller

10. Andy Jack

11. Eoghan O’Sullivan

12. Simon Donnelly

13. Ed Joyce

14. Mitch Shankland

15. Owen Price 


16. John Kane

17. Tom Byrne

18. Eizo Higashi

19. Emanuel Risi

20. Brynn Muirhead