REPORT: Old Albanian 29 v 32 Ealing Trailfinders 1st XV

Ealing Trailfinders had to come from behind to clinch a dramatic victory over Old Albanian RFC at Woollhams on Saturday. Ealing Trailfinders trailed 29-27 with 5 minutes remaining before Tom Parker’s unconverted try enabled the league leaders to continue their devastating form in 2013.


The home side took the lead when number 8 Matt Chambers scored against the run of play. A turnover forced Ealing Trailfinders onto the back foot before Chambers’ mazy run exposed the disorganised defensive line. OA’s full-back Richard Gregg converted the easy penalty. Ealing Trailfinders responded in typical fashion. A series of direct forward carriers allowed the backline to show off their silky handling skills and speed to swing the ball to Owen Bruynseels, who finished purposefully in the far right-hand corner. Playing into a strong breeze, Ealing Trailfinders were forced to play from deep as the game restarted. With momentum building, a loose pass was intercepted by Ollie Marchon, who accelerated untouched to the try-line to extend OAs’ lead to 14-5. The Ealing Trailfinders scrum was proving to be their most potent weapon as they gallantly attempted to reduce OAs’ lead. Ealing Trailfinders scored their second try when scrum-half Parker darted off the back of a dominant scrum on the hosts’ try line. Thomas Wheatcroft was unable to add the extras as OAs maintained their lead at 14-10. A fine Phil Chesters break down the touchline allowed Ealing Trailfinders to build momentum, and after the ball was recycled Tim Brockett went over from close range for the visitors to take the lead. The misfiring Wheatcroft kicked wide again as Ealing Trailfinders led by the solitary point. The visitors were unable to hold onto their lead as a Gregg penalty sent OAs into the break 17-15 up.

After the interval, poor defending saw OAs extend their lead when scrum-half Stefan Liebenberg’s try from a quick penalty tap was converted by Gregg. Ealing Trailfinders showed their resilient qualities when Chesters scored from a well-worked first-phase move before Bruynseels raced over for his second score of the game to take the score to 27-24 in the visitors’ favour. Marchon crossed for his second try of the game when he showed blistering pace after collecting a long-range clearance kick to restore OAs’ lead at 29-27. Ealing Trailfinders managed to fight off an unrelenting passage of OAs attack and scored the winning try courtesy of a superb counter-attacking move. An outstanding break from Andrew Henderson took the ball into the Albanians 22 before Bruynseels’ one-handed off-load was gathered by Parker, who raced over to score the crucial match-winning try. Ealing Trailfinders were forced to defend with sheer determination as the final four minutes saw a flurry of pulsating multi-phase attacks from the home side. Ealing Trailfinders held on to secure a hard-fought and entertaining 32-29 victory.

Ealing Trailfinders are back on the road this week as they travel to Fylde to play their rescheduled fixture. They return to Vallis Way on the 23rd March to face second place Blaydon in a top of the table clash, KO 2PM. To find out more about this game please click here