REPORT: Ealing Trailfinders 1st XV 50 – 8 Canterbury

Ealing Trailfinders ran out comfortable victors against a Canterbury side that had won three of their four previous games.  The home side managed to touch down a total of 8 tries to secure a bonus point victory which put the defeat at Barking firmly behind them.

Ealing looked almost like a different side to the one that lost at the league leaders as they scored try after try.

Phil Chesters kept his great scoring record going as he ran in the first score of the day.  Lined up against a Canterbury prop, he had no difficulty side-stepping the forward and running in under the posts for seven points in only the fourth minute of the game.  Canterbury did reply quickly with a penalty kick on seven minutes.  However, Ealing kept battering away at the Canterbury line and the margin of victory would have been larger if it weren’t for some handling mistakes.

Canterbury were about to be reduced to fourteen men for the first time in the match after Jim Sanford was sin-binned for repeated offences and Canterbury were left to see out the rest of the half with 14 men.

Eventually, the constant pressure and the extra man lead to a gap in the Canterbury defence and Ealing centre Peter Hodgkinson was able to score the second try of the game for the home side.  After an incisive break, Ealing captain Jay King collected an offload and went tumbling over the line to secure another seven points.

19-3 at half time left the crowd looking forward to a close battle in the second 40 minutes.

But Ealing powered on past a Canterbury side who looked outclassed in all areas.  Ealing managed to score five tries in the second half—totalling eight tries in all—through Joe Price, Guthrie Hall, Kiba Richards, Marcus Burcham and Ben Ward.  The pick of them going to Kiba Richards who managed to catch a perfectly weighted cross-field kick from Ben Ward, before side-stepping the opposition winger and running in to score the sixth try of the day.

Canterbury were again reduced to fourteen men after Mike Livesey was seen to strike his opponent and was promptly shown the yellow card by the referee.

Canterbury did manage to salvage some dignity from the game as they ran in to score their only try after 75 minutes.  However, it was far too late to change the outcome of the game and they were firmly beaten by 50 points to eight.

Man of the match Marcus Burcham said, "When Canterbury went a man down to the sin bin we exploited it to full advantage extending our lead before half time. In the second half the forwards became dominant and the ball the backs received was quick and easy to attack with, I think every member of the back line managed to go over at some point which is a huge credit to the pack.

"Ben Ward prevailed as the leading scorer with fifteen points with his one try and 5 conversions.  But it was the team performance that Ealing Captain Jay King wanted to highlight “It was a really clinical performance. It was a great way to bounce back from the previous weeks defeat. Eight different try scorers really does show we have threats throughout the team."

Ealing and Canterbury lie in fourth and fifth place respectively after this encounter, although Ealing have played one less game than most of the teams around them.  Ealing Coach Mike Cudmore said, "Playing into the wind in the first half was always going to be tough and although we bombed four good try opportunities we went in at half time with a positive lead.

"We came out in the second half and straight away put them under pressure and this continued for most of the half resulting in another good home win.  The enthusiasm showed by all in attack and defence was of a high level and we will work hard in training this week addressing the areas we were not happy with in our preparation for our away trip to Dings this Saturday."

Ealing travel to Dings for a game that they will now approach with new confidence.

Finn Grist