Ealing make certain of second spot in National 2 South with a gutsy win away at Worthing.
The British seaside is known for its blustery weather so it was not much of a surprise that the weather played a part in a very competitive game played in terrible conditions.
Ealing began with the wind at their backs having lost the toss, and soon put the Worthing line under pressure. After a tough forward contest near the Worthing line after an Ealing lineout, Ben Ward was able to perfectly drop a cross-field kick into winger Phil Chesters waiting arms for score in the corner.
The two packs continued to struggle for supremacy although it was Worthing who were more often penalized by referee Paul Kimber. in the 14th minute he gave a penalty for driving up in the scrum which Ben Ward coolly stroked over for an 8 point lead. Although Ealing applied a lot of pressure they were unable to add to the score line and that’s how it stayed to the half time mark.
Worthing with the wind behind them in the second half weren’t able to match Wards kicking and exploit the wind and keep the contest as far from their own line as possible. Ealing’s defence and game control reduced Worthing’s attacking opportunities throughout the second half. And it was a Worthing kick that led to Ealing’s next try. A clearance kick went straight to Phil Chesters. Chesters has impressed this season as an explosive runner, and he grabbed an opportunity to break through Worthing’s disjointed defence and score his tenth try of the season in just nine games. Despite the high wind Ward kicked the 2 points extra for a 0-15 lead.
Worthing are a gutsy side and fought back to get an unconverted try after some aggressive running from fly-half Joe Govett, and then had a try disallowed late on after a forward pass. But the win was Ealings, and that was underlined by a final penalty from Ben Ward that took his seasons tally to 80 points.
Ealing Director of Rugby Mike Cudmore was satisfied with a good result from a tough away trip.
“At half time I didn’t feel we had exploited the conditions sufficiently re the score line. All the players were aware that we needed to improve our urgency and control if we were going to leave with a win. I was extremely pleased with the team’s response to this in the second half. We played with control, managed the ball for long periods, played up the pitch in the Worthing half and defended well for the majority of the time when required. It was a good away win in very difficult conditions”
Ealing face a tough test this Saturday with the visit of fifth place Southend.