REPORT: Ealing Trailfinders RFC 43 v 17 Wharfedale

Ealing Trailfinders had the opportunity to get back to winning ways when Wharfedale made the long trip down to West London. On a blustery afternoon, Ealing Trailfinders opted to play into a strong wind for the first half. Ealing Trailfinders began the game full of confidence with a trade-mark Peter Hodgkinson counter attack almost leading to a try within minutes of the game kicking off. Wharfedale tested the Ealing Trailfinders defence with an encouraging passage of play from the visitors, but the stubborn Trailfinders defence stood firm. Ealing Trailfinders opened the scoring through Phil Chesters’ brilliantly finished try. A powerful Ealing Trailfinders scrum enabled the Ealing Trailfinders back-line to swiftly pass the ball to the speedy winger who beat two defenders on the way to the try-line. Ealing Trailfinders were again celebrating when a forceful drive resulted in a break from flanker Jack Clifford. Quick ball from the ensuing ruck saw the ball passed to Hodgkinson who strolled in for his team’s second try of the game. Ben Ward’s successful conversion gave Ealing Trailfinders a 12-0 lead. Wharfedale fought back and were camped in the hosts half for a sustained period. On 28 minutes Ealing’s Captain Mat Evans was binned for entering a maul from the side. Wharfedale capitalised on the numerical advantage after being awarded a penalty try from a five-metre scrum to make the score 12-7. Just before half-time Sam Wardingley showed impressive strength as he powered his way over to score. Ealing Trailfinders took a well-deserved 19-7 lead going into half-time.

Ealing Trailfinders came storming out the blocks after the break when Chesters was just inches away from adding to his tally. Ealing’s bonus point try came through the returning scrum-half Morgan Thompson. Ealing Trailfinders stole the Wharfedale lineout and Jon Moyce gathered and drove on. Like all good scrum-half’s Thompson spotted the gap round the fringe and burrowed his way over to score. Ealing Trailfinders were beginning to run riot after a Wardingley break and off-load saw Chesters sprint over for his second of the day to further enhance their lead to 29-7. On the hour mark Clifford snuck over for his first try in an Ealing Trailfinders jersey. Ward’s excellent touch-line conversion extended the home side’s lead to 36-7. The England under-20 representative went over for his second of the game from a similar distance to give Ealing Trailfinders an impressive 43-7 lead with just 10 minutes to go. Wharfedale managed to score two consolation tries through replacement Dan Solomi before the final whistle blew. Ealing Trailfinders will be happy with their convincing 43-17 victory at Vallis Way.

Ealing Trailfinders captain Mat Evans believes it was a well-deserved victory for the home side. “The lads came out today and delivered a great performance in front of our vocal home support. Their last two tries aside, I believe we snuffled them out defensively all day. We knew they like to play rugby from anywhere on the pitch, so we focused on nullifying this threat…and I believe we achieved that,” said Evans.

Evans was also full of praise of his team’s character. “I am proud of the way the team have reacted today in the wake of some poor results recently. The whole team played well, but there were some outstanding individual performances today, “remarked the Ealing Trailfinders captain.

Ealing Trailfinders travel to Stourbridge this Saturday in a 3pm kick off.