REPORT: Ealing Trailfinders U23’s 26 v 12 London Irish Nomads U23’s

Wednesday 21st December proved to be a great night for our club. We had a reunion match for our players who have played through the mini and youth sections, and are now away at university or working.

E – mails were sent out to prospective players a few weeks previous and by the week of the game we had almost 30 players ready to play; although unfortunately, on the evening of the game it was a different story…….5 cry off’s & 3 no shows!!

The team assembled at 5:00pm ready for a 7:00pm kick off under floodlights on the first XV pitch. A warm up took place, match tactics discussed and players were put into their positions. We had a very young team – all were under 21 – playing what appeared to be an older, more experienced Irish side.

The game kicked of at a very fast pace and Ealing quickly took the lead with two tries, one from Nathan Brady and the other scored by man of the match Chris Hitchcock after an intercept by Dan Thomas. Both tries were successfully converted by James Hitchcock. However, the Irish came back very strongly and after good forward work scored a converted try just before half time, to bring the half time score to 14-7 in our favour.

London Irish started the second half as they finished the first – very strongly! They were quickly on the score sheet again, with a well worked try in the corner. However the tide was about to turn and the Ealing Trailfinders boys came back powerfully and Will Key, an 18 year old colt, scored a great individual try under the posts, after an incredible burst through the middle, and again, James Hitchcock converted. This brought the score to 21-12, but there was still enough time for an Irish comeback. Any doubt about the result was cancelled out after good work on the left hand touch line resulted in an unconverted try in the corner, by Richard Smith. Final score 26-12 to Ealing Trailfinders! The man of the match award went to Chris Hitchcock for his excellent line out work and all round support play.

The players then retired to the bar to be fed and watered. Thanks to some very kind donations by one or two club members, there was plenty of beer to send them home for Christmas in high spirits.

Without the help, and support of numerous members of the club, the game would not have been able to go ahead. A huge thank you to Jan & Rodger Hitchcock, from New World Interiors, for kindly sponsoring the game, thanks also to Mike Gooley of Trailfinders for making it possible to play this game on the main pitch, under floodlights and to those who turned up on the night to support their club.

This kind of game now needs to be a regular fixture and already we are looking to take a similar team to London Irish at the Easter break. If you are an ex-Ealing Trailfinders youth player (aged 19-23) and would like to take part, please contact Andy Killeen by email: