Despite the hot weather, hard pitches and the Cougars MMT1 Cup Final along the road at Acton, there was a very good turn out at Vallis way on Saturday to see the Evergreens supplemented by a few Exiles win the day in a tough but enjoyable friendly against SODAM.
Andy Cleary’s erratic boot started the match with a grubber not going 10 giving SODAM a halfway scrum but minutes later slotted a cracking conversion from the left touchline following Ealing’s first try by Ben Hesketh who cut through a rather stunned SODAM defence like a rapier.
Ealing added a further 5 points when a text book lineout close to the SODAM line gave Stef Glancy possession and he crashed over the line taking two or three SODAM defenders with him. The points then dried up like the pitch and the Vets throats as SODAM got back into the game using their weight advantage to take control of the scrum.
Just before half time, with Ealing a man down SODAM finally put 7 points on the board. A series of penalties in Ealing’s Red Zone saw them taking the scrum option and grinding away at the Evergreens’ defence until they squeezed across the line.
After the break tempers were fraying a bit in the heat and following a further succession of penalties the SODAM no. 1 was carded for a rather clumsy shoulder charge on BOF. Unfortunately a bit of backchat saw the ref convert this to red! This was certainly a key turning point in the game and the Evergreens now took control as the younger team started to tire.
A trade mark Stef McCabe move from a 5m penalty saw him feigning the pass and firing through a gap to score a great individual try. He added a further 5 points when No. 8 Nick Greenhaigh picked up from the scrum, ran into the referee, shipped it to Stef Glancy, who spun it out to him (some might say slighty forward) for a simple touchdown. An Eddie Beck conversion took the final score to Evergreens 24 – SODAM 7…… a great result to end a somewhat chequered season!
The squad (big thanks to those Exiles who provided support)
Eddie Beck ( 1 conversion)
Stefan McCabe (2 tries)
Stefan Glancy (1 try)
Ben Hesketh (1 try)
Andy Cleary (1 conversion)