Ealing Trailfinders 1st XV put on a fine display for their home fans as they comfortably beat Cambridge 47-11. Victory for the West London outfit cemented their place at the top of the National 1 table with the mouth-watering fixture against local rivals Rosslyn Park coming up on Saturday. Ealing Trailfinders made an electrifying start when swift handling in the back division saw Peter Hodkginson make a break before an audacious off-load resulted in Phil Chesters crossing to score in the left hand corner. Thomas Wheatcroft slotted the touch-line conversion in blustery conditions to give the home side a 7-0 lead after only 3 minutes of play. Ealing Trailfinders’ momentum was briefly scuppered when flanker Mathew Evans was yellow-carded by referee Philip Davies for not rolling away. Cambridge capitalised on the numerical advantage with an Elliott Bale penalty reducing the deficit to 7-3. Cambridge, playing into a slight breeze, attempted a pick and go strategy to produce quick ball but the home side’s fringe defence was imperious and determined. A determined Sam Shires charged down an attempted Bale clearance kick on the Cambridge line, enabling Hodgkinson to dot down the deflected kick. Wheatcroft added the extras to push Ealing Trailfinders 14-3 ahead. A Cambridge scrum in the centre of the field was brilliantly turned over and Shires burst off the back of the turned over possession. Swift handling ensued as the visitors were caught off guard and Chesters finished well for his second converted score of the day. The Cambridge side, coming off an impressive victory against Sedgley Park the previous week, endeavoured to get back in the game. With hooker Richard Townsend in the bin for a technical infringement, Cambridge’s hard work paid off as former Ealing Trailfinders prop Thomas Fidler sneaked over from close range on the stroke of half time to give his side a glimmer of hope in the second period.
A Bale penalty early in the second half reduced the arrears to 21-11. The home side withheld a period of Cambridge attack before imposing their own pressure on the visitor’s line. After a set of yard-gaining phase play, Morgan Thompson took advantage of a tiring Cambridge team to dart in from the base of a ruck to score and extend Ealing Trailfinders lead to 26-11. A confident home side were now firmly in the ascendancy in all facets and it was becoming a matter how many points they could score before the full-time whistle. Hodgkinson and Lee Starling combined before the flanker scored another converted try to stretch their lead to 33-11. With Cambridge hooker James Palmer in the bin, the Ealing Trailfinders scrum powered within a metre of the try-line before replacement No. 8 Liam Perkins’ pass allowed Thompson to stroll over for his second try of the game. Wheatcroft’s conversion took the score to 40-11. The home side finished the game with a try of true quality as forwards and backs combined before a Hodgkinson kick was gathered by Sam Wardingley, who scored the converted try.
Ealing Trailfinders 1st XV will be full of confidence as they make the short journey to Rosslyn Park for the crucial top of the table clash on Saturday. Ealing Trailfinders 1st XV will return to Vallis Way in January where Macclesfield will be the visitors for the day. Another big fixture to look forward to in January at Vallis Way is Richmond on the 19th January, where there will also be a big 1871 lunch with an Auction.
To find out more about the Macclesfield game click here
To find out more about the Richmond game click here