Josh Elliott gave Ealing Trailfinders’ supporters something to cheer about when he scored his first ever try for the club at the end of a match in which Plymouth Albion won with two tries, two conversions and two penalties.
The young scrumhalf scored with only a few minutes remaining on the clock against the Devonians. He started the move with an accurate lineout throw to Adam Preocanin and then bound on the back of the maul as the Ealing eight drove their opposite numbers back.
Even so the try wasn’t enough to stop Albion from taking the victory, who won with tries from wings Thomas Bowen and Lewis Warner and two conversions and a brace of penalties from fly-half Declan Cusack.
The hosts made the stronger start and had Albion on the backfoot from kickoff, but when they were unable to capitalise on their dominance, Plymouth broke out and hooker Gareth Evans broke the hosts’ defensive line and offloaded to Bowen who was supporting on his shoulder.
Despite trailing 16-0 after two Cusack penalties Ealing didn’t go into their shell and Phil Chesters and Tom Wheatcroft both came close to escaping the Plymouth defence, but ferocious tackling and the calm play of Albion half-backs Ruairi Cushion and Declan Cusack kept Ealing out.
After half-time the returning Ed Siggery showed Ealing’s intentions at the start of the second half with a barrelling run that allowed Ben Ward to set up good field position.
Again Trailfinders were unable to take advantage and it was the visitors who added to the score when Warner looped his run off Cusack to add their second try.
Ealing’ backs and forwards continued to try to find a way through the Plymouth defence and eventually gained their reward through Elliott, much to the delight of Ealing fans who had braved the cold and rain to cheer on their team.
Andrew Henderson, Billy Robinson, Ronnie McLean, Tom Wheatcroft, Phil Chesters, Ben Ward (captain), Morgan Thompson; Ryan Storer, Sam Wilkes, Tim Brockett, Adam Preocanin, Matt Evans, Ed Siggery, TJ Anderson, Sam Hocking
Josh Elliott, Steve Neville, Conor Carey, Steve Pape, Alex Bradley, Stuart Commins, Chris Kinloch
Chris Elder, Tom Bowen, Ben Woods, Toby Howley-Berridge, Lewis Warner, Declan Cusack, Ruairi Cushion; Ben Rogers, Gareth Evans, David Morton, Harrison Tovey, Ian Ashcroft-Leigh, Sean-Michael Stephan, Eoghan Grace, Rhys Oakley (captain)
David McGregor, Lloyd Fairbrother, Martin Rice, Rob Langley, James Shanahan, Paul Rowley, Heath Stephens
Referee – Greg MacDonald
Attendance – 562