REPORT: Ealing Trailfinders 1st XV 27 – 15 Worthing

Ealing Trailfinders overcome a 10 point half time deficit to record their 17th win of the season and with it their 15th four try bonus point. Two second half tries by the man of the match Phil Chesters proved the difference between the sides, whilst the win keeps them in touch with the league leaders Barking ( who won 38-26 against Clifton) and Rosslyn Park who defeated Shelford (3-42) . This coming weekend, Ealing entertain leaders Barking at Vallis Way, kick off 3pm.

Ealing’s stand in captain Ben Ward said after the game "We allowed Worthing into the game in the first 40 minutes with too many errors. At the start of the second half we played with good control with a man in the sin bin. When back to 15 players we then started to test them and this created mismatches out wide which we exploited. The bench made a good impact and it was a very pleasing result considering the amount of changes during the match"

Ealing’s south coast visitors took the game to their hosts from the open and only strong defence kept them at bay. Wing Owen Bryunseels and back row Blare Morris & Luke Wallace snuffed out Jack Maslen as he went for the corner. Worthing kept he pressure up on the West London side, but time and again their ball carrying man mountain, number 8 Semisi Taulava and his colleagues Jamie Redmayne & James Arthur were stopped in their tracks by Ealing’s own forwards. Worthing were forced into early changes after first full back Matt McLean on 27 minutes and Taulava left the fray on 35 minutes, both to play no further part in the day’s proceedings.

The games first points came on 16 minutes and went to Worthing. Having started the game brightly they denied Ealing possession, and this showed Ealing’s defence at its best. Worthing attacked, hacking through a loose ball and the ball stood up for wing Maslen to go over. McLean added the conversion to make it 0-7.

The home side hit back on 28 minutes, moving the ball from the breakdown on their own 10m line to full back Hodgkinson whose deft off load to Ealing’s powerhouse wing Owen Bruynseels saw him break  through some flimsy tackles to go over in the right hand corner. Ward was just wide with the extras.

Bruynseels runs in first try

Worthing continued to test the home sides defence and on 33 minutes, Worthing second row Joe Launchberry dotted down after a good forward drive. The conversion was missed by stand in kicker Joe Govett. Ealing’s scramble defence was being tested, and after several warnings Ealing skipper Ben Ward was given 10 minutes in the sin bin for holding on. Govett popped over a penalty and the with it took Worthing into a half time lead of 5-15.

The second half was to prove a very different affair. Ealing’s superior fitness began to tell as they went through multiple phases. They began to dominate territory from quality lineout possession from James Winterbottom and Ryan Gregory, whilst Ben Ward was now controlling proceedings. Paddy Gill at scrum half was also proving to be a thorn in the Worthing side. The constant pressure saw Worthing concede a penalty on 51 minutes, which was converted by Ben Ward, making the score 8-15.

The constant spoiling and slowing down of the ball by the visitors in the second half finally lead to referee Simon McConnell reaching for his cards and despatching Worthing open side Jamie Redmayne to the sin bin. Ward kicked for the corner from the resultant penalty , Ealing won the lineout , the ball moved into the centre, and swicthed with  for Markus Burcham to cross for 5 points, which was converted by Ben Ward.

With the score now 15-15, Ealing began to pick up the pace and use their numerical advantage. They spread the ball testing the 14 man Worthing defence, and it was the leagues top try scorer Phil Chesters who crossed the line in rapid succession for his 24th and 25th tries of the season. Chesters has scored more tries than any other player at National league level (his nearest rival is currently on 19). This shows what entertaining rugby is on offer at Vallis Way!

Man of the match Phil Chesters said "we were pleased with how the team reacted to what we knew was required in the second 40 minutes after a muted first half. W e delivered an impressive performance with 22 unanswered points and proved that we are still very much striving for a sniff at promotion"

Ealing Trailfinders DoR Mike Cudmore echoed Ben’s comment, "We were not happy with our first half performance.  We knew from Worthing’s current form that they would be a difficult opposition and they proved to be so.  At half time we were aware of what was required to change the game and allow us to start putting more pressure on them.  Our control and game management improved and we delivered twenty two unanswered points in the second half.  A good reaction but we will be looking for an eighty minute performance this week.  In the end  we are happy with the five point win" .

This coming weekend , Ealing entertain leaders Barking at Vallis Way, kick off 3pm.

EalingTrailfinders :

15 – Pete Hodgkinson 14 – Owen Bruynseels 13- Markus Burcham 12 – Joe Price 11 – Phil Chesters 10 – Ben Ward 9 – Paddy Gill 1- Steve Neville 2 – Jon Moyce 3 – Dinos Alexpoulous   4 – Ryan Gregory 5 – James Winterbottom 6 – Blair Morris 7-  Luke Wallace 8 – Guthrie Hall

Subs – 16 –   Rob Buchanan  17 – Sungo Kuwana 17 – Karl Gibson 18 – Gethin Davies 19 –  Richard Briggs