REPORT: Ealing Exiles 17 v 18 Bank of England IIIs

Exiles disappointed after loosing the match they were leading in the 77 th minute by a point.

Nick Greenhalgh reports from the back of the scrum….

The Exiles had a disappointing day on sunny paddocks of Ealing Trailfinders rugby grounds. Things were looking comfortable for a win as we maintained a healthy lead 17-10 at about 8 minute to go. Sadly the B of E managed to breach our defences and cause errors through firing up some high kicks enabling them to get a deserved try. At 15-17 their kicker failed for about the 5th time to get the ball through the post, maintaining his 100% failure record. So at three minutes to go we seemed to have the game within grasp. Then sadly we gave away a penalty between the 22 and the 20 yard line in a non too tricky angle and B of E kicker finally hit his mark pushing them into the lead by a fatal point from which we were not to recover.

We were a little unorganised this week and barely hit the magic 15 at the start of the game. However, through playing a few people out of position we seemed to resemble a team. Eff thankfully made an appearance and took on Stef’s no. 9 shirt doing a splendid job at feeding Ronan Murphy as ply half with good ball. Eff also managed to run in a nice try from a quick penalty whilst the oppo looked aghast as they made no effort to get back and defend, caught well napping they were. Sadly Eff failed to put the ball between the posts to make it an easy kick and as a result we lost the match…. just kidding..

Chris Bruce our new man in the backs showed some class with some cracking runs and an awesome tackle on the oppo centre, fair smashed him he did. But out on the wing he probably got less ball than he should, suspect a bit more ball would have got him on the try scorers list.

The scrum had a hard ask today against a pretty mighty set of B of E props. Barry’s man must have been close to twice Barry’s weight and size, and a couple of the others weren’t much smaller. Support wasn’t bad today, and fitness seems to be getting better. Though we need to improve on both counts to get ourselves on the right side of the end result.

There were a few injuries and as we had only 16 players there were some brave soldiers who went off and came back in order to keep a full team on the pitch and continue out contested scrum ability. Big thanks to Alex K for coming back on with a bad hamstring pull, as well a Ghassan, Tom L and Mark H who all went off and came back on for the team…..

T managed to show good persistence and ran in a fine try. Clive Lungley also scored. Didn’t see it myself but several others of the team did and informed all that Chris Ashton’s trade mark dive is making a flamboyant entry in our grass roots style rugby.

Ronan our fly half also showed he could be elusive as he darted here and there often making good ground. Only grumble from me would be that the Exiles like to keep it in hand a bit more, as sadly we have few fit/fast enough to chase up and handle territorial kick attempts.

So all in all not a bad game, but a disappointing game. I understand B of E were denied top of their league table last season by a single penalty point from not phoning in a match result in time, so this suggests that they are a reasonable level, and as we nearly got the win we ought not be too down on ourselves.

Clive Lungley
T (Gautam Tamanh)
Eff (Anthony Lynch)

Ronan Murphy

Team and their rough positions:
Nick Greenhalgh (8)
Barry Cousins (1) – Skipper
Clive Lungley (12)
Neal Craig (13)
Alex Kruczkowski (14)
Ghassan Matta (3)
Gautam Tamanh – "T" (6/7/11)
Tom Laishley (6/7/5)
Andy Madden (15)
John Moore (4)
Ronan Murphy (10)
Peter Rank (2)
Mark Hubbard (5,7)
Jonathan Mckeogh (7)
Christopher Bruce (11)
Anthony Lynch (9)