REPORT: Ealing Trailfinders 1st XV 76 – 6 Westcombe Park

Ealing Trailfinders produced a stunning second half display that blew Westcombe Park apart, and with it achieved 1014 league points for the first time in the club’s history. 

Ealing’s season has seen some wonderful rugby played from a young team that many feel can grow and produce that something extra that would see them gain promotion next season to National 1.

Director of rugby Mike Cudmore said, "We wanted to put on a performance that celebrated our season.  We did this and looking back at the season we have achieved a lot.  We were obviously disappointed to miss out on the playoff place but the squad has grown and it puts us in a strong position in the future"

Westcombe Park returned to Vallis Way for their rearranged N2S fixture after they deemed the pitch unplayable in March. How they wished the going was less firm as it took Ealing just three minutes to open the scoring, as the leagues top try scorer Phil Chesters crossed for the first of the home sides 11 tries. Combe started brightly but it was to be a long afternoon for the Goddington Dene side, as they continually turned over possession, and Ealing were in no mood to spurn up good ball. Jay King’s side looked to move the ball at every opportunity.

A turnover on halfway,  and the ball was in fly half Ben Ward’s hands, and his trademark cross field kick found Chesters, he plucked the ball out of the air  and went over from 35m. Scrum half Morgan Thompson continued his impressive form with the boot and added the conversion from out wide.

Blair Morris, Ealing’s hard nosed blindside flanker was next on the score sheet, receiving a pop pass from skipper Jay King who had taken a quick penalty,  just outside the Combe 22m line he burst through 2 tackles to score, Thompson again adding the conversion.

Number eight  Guthrie Hall was to take further advantage of Westcombe’s indiscretions. Again taking advantage of Combe not moving back at a penalty, he step his way over for the first of his brace on 20 minutes. Morgan Thompson adding the twp points too stretch Ealing’s advantage to 21-0 on 20 minutes. Westcombe Park came back into the game on 24 minutes when stand off Dan Harris kicked the first of his two penalties of the day .

Young centre Markus Burcham made a strong break through the Combe midfield and his was hooker Rob Buchanan who was on hand to finish the score off, and with it the four try bonus point, just before half time. Thompson again added the extra points. From the kick off Ealing conceded a penalty that Harris converted to take the score at half time to 28-6 to the home side.

The second half continued in the same vein, as tight head prop Dinos Alexopoulos, found himself receing the ball on the wing , beating his opposite man to score in the 41 minute. Thompson’s form continuing as he struck the conversion from the wide angle.

Skipper Jay King capped a man of the match performance, with a well deserved try following a powerful run through the heart pf the Coombe defence. This was followed by replacement wing Owen Bruynseels turned on the afterburners after being fed by the industrious Joe Price.

Blair Morris and Guthrie Hall both claimed their second tries of  the day, and Rob Buchanan and Owen Bruynseels rounded off a great season for the Vallis Way team.

John O’Sullivan from Allied Irish Bank selected skipper Jay King as his man of the match after a typical workman like display.

Jay said after the game, "We have a roller coaster ride of a season. It started with a serious amount of uncertainty, with whole sale changes being made to the squad. This gave players who had may be waiting in the shadows some what the previous season an opportunity to establish themselves as 1st XV starters. With a couple of excellent additions to the squad we started as a bit of an unknown quantity.

The spirit of the squad evolved quickly. I can honestly say that this has been one the most enjoyable seasons I have ever played. From the on set of the season we put ourselves in the mix for promotion. On route we picked up some notable wins, namely picking up our first ever win away at Dings, again putting 50 points on Lydney away from home, is something not many teams will do.

Unfortunately despite finishing on level points with Rosslyn Park it wasn’t quite enough to gain the playoff spot. Despite not getting promoted, our season can be deemed nothing other than a success. We picked up league points in every single match this season and that is a great feat in itself.

There was some extremely sad news at end of the season with the passing on of our head coach Kieran Power’s mother, Ann Power. She was heavily invovled in the club as one of our sponsors and her and her husband Jim rarely missed a game. I think it would be a fitting tribute to dedicate this season to Ann’s memory.

Roll on 2010/2011 season. "

So the season finishes at Vallis Way. Over 1000 points scored and some wonderful rugby witnessed both at home and away. The young  team have come a long way, and their achievements show the National league rugby can be entertaining and well worth spending your Saturday at Vallis Way!

Ealing Trailfinders team

15 – Hodgkinson ,14 – Briggs, 13 – Burcham , 12 – Price ,11 – Chesters, 10 – Ward, 9 – Thompson, 8 – Hall, 7 – King (C), 6 – Morris, 5 – Davies, 4 – Gregory,  3 – Alexopoulos, 2 – Buchnan, 1 – Brown

16 – Kuwana, 17 – Neville 18 – Winterbottom, 19 – Essien, 20 – Bruynseels