Ealing Trailfinders continued their superb run of form with a comprehensive bonus-point victory over Wharfedale at Vallis Way.
The National 1 league leaders produced a ruthless second-half performance, making up for a sluggish first period as the hosts ultimately cruised to a 41-13 victory.
Ealing Trailfinders’ early dominance was rewarded when Ronald Mclean-Dents was the grateful beneficiary of some fine attacking play between Andrew Henderson and Phil Chesters, resulting in the centre crossing for the first try in the eighth minute. Wharfedale opened their account when fly-half Thomas Barrett converted a penalty after Ealing Trailfinder’s Mat Evans was deemed to have entered the ruck from the side. Ealing Trailfinders hit back immediately courtesy of a stunning individual try scored by Chesters. The winger collected the ball just past the half-way line before brushing aside several defenders as he raced to the try line to send Ealing Trailfinders into a 10-3 lead. Ealing Trailfinders looked bright in their attacking endeavour but were met by stubborn Wharfedale defence and were their own worst enemies as handling errors were proving a common theme. Barrett and Thomas Wheatcroft traded a penalty apiece before Tim Brockett was sent to the sin-bin for slowing the ball down illegally as Ealing Trailfinders took a 13-6 lead into half-time.
Ealing Trailfinders began the second half with renewed vigour and their scrum was an indicator of how the team were functioning. The scrum had been inconsistent and had conceded penalties in the first 40 minutes. However, the opening periods of the second half saw the scrum dominance that has been associated with the Ealing Trailfinders pack in recent weeks. Wheatcroft, uncharacteristically wayward from the kicking tee, missed his fourth shot at goal before redeeming himself with an excellent try, beating two defenders and showing a turn of speed to dot down for the home side. Ben Ward’s successful conversion extended Ealing Trailfinders lead to 20-6. Ealing Trailfinders’ relentless attacking threats began to take their toll on a tiring Wharfedale outfit as tries in quick succession from Steve Pape and Ward saw Ealing Trailfinders collect the bonus point and race into a 34-6 lead. With Wharfedale hooker Steve Larkin in the sin-bin, Pape burst through the visitors’ defence to score his second converted try of the game, extending Ealing Trailfinders lead to 41-6 with six minutes remaining. Barrett’s consolation try was the last action of the game as Ealing Trailfinders secured their sixth victory in a row.
Ealing Trailfinders travel to Old Albanians on Saturday determined to avenge their 31-25 defeat in November. The team returns to Vallis Way on the 23rd March where they host Blaydon who are currently placed second in National League 1, this is a 2pm KO. To find out more click here