First Team

REPORT: Ealing Trailfinders 1st XV 52-7 Bridgwater & Albion

Another great home win cements second place as leaders Barking win, Clifton have no fixture, and Rosslyn Park draw away at Dings.    


This Saturday Ealing Trailfinders 1st XV face one of the biggest games of the season, away to Rosslyn Park. But, their preparation for the London derby, with a home fixture against struggling Somerset team Bridgewater and Albion, couldn’t have gone much better. An eight-try home win cemented second place behind Barking.

A patient start against Bridgewater’s obvious determination to not ship too many points early on, led to just two Ben Ward penalties. But then Ealing’s superb winger Phil Chesters opened his account for the afternoon when Ealing’s pacey backs moved the ball to him in a yard of space. Chesters’ speed is phenomenal, and time and time again he simply outpaced the Bridgewater defence. Bridgewater’s strength lies in a powerful pack which they used on several occasions to make good progress, but they lacked Ealing’s ability to turn good positions into points. Towards the end of the first half Ealing started to really turn the screw. The forwards claimed two tries, the first from the excellent Scott Hodson from close range, and then after a tasty cross field kick from Ward, Dave Francis took three defenders with him over the try line.
At 25-0 at the half time mark, Ealing knew that Bridgewater would come out fighting. Sure enough, a good spell led to a converted try for Bridgewater Centre Michael Mangeolles on 45 minutes.
But, sadly for them that was their last score as Ealing took the initiative and started to dominate the tiring visitors. Ealing often revel in the narrow defences that second half fatigue can bring. With Ward quick to recognise the opportunities to release the talented backs around him, it was the Ealing backs half. Bryan Young,a 48th minute substitute, scored twice, the second after Chesters made another blistering run down the left wing, and then dropped a perfect chip for Young to touch down. It was then time for Kiba Richards to use his speed from the other Ealing wing to claim two more. But Chesters finished off in style with his second, which Ward slotted over for a personal 12-point haul. Ward was quite rightly named man of the match – it may be other names who get the tries but it is Ward that identifies when to strike, and marshalls the buckets of pace that surround him. His kicking out of hand has always been a huge strength but his ability to ring the changes has been a key factor in a rejuvenated Ealing side.
Ealing Trailfinders  Tries: Chesters (2), Young (2), Richards (2) Hodson, Francis
Cons:  Ward (3)
Pens : Ward (2)
Bridgwater & Albion        Try: Mangeolles
Con:  Chennells

Ward controls things