In blazing sunshine at the Athletic Ground, Ealing Amateurs 1sts completed their pre-season friendlies with an encouraging 46-19 win over Richmond Normans.
Ealing looked the stronger of the two teams in the opening exchanges, and duly scored after 10 minutes when a fine long pass by Ollie Miller following good work by the forwards created space for Stephen Verma to canter in on the right wing. After 25 minutes, Richmond pulled ahead with a converted try. Just two minutes later, a barnstorming run by Adam Hulmston saw Ealing regain the lead, and on 33 minutes a good lineout take by Mike Whitney led to a forward surge and a try by prop Phil Cotter. The conversion from half-way out narrowly missed, leaving Ealing 15-7 up. The lead was cut to a single point when the Richmond inside centre scored the first of his two tries. Shortly before half-time Ealing were awarded a penalty for a high tackle. Miller passed to Hulmston, who broke through the defence before offloading to Jonathan Knott, who scored. Alex Gillespie converted, giving Ealing a deserved half-time lead of 22-14.
Five minutes after the restart, following a series of strong forward drives, fly-half Gillespie powered over and converted his own try to make it 29-12. On 60 minutes, a fine run by Andrew Johnston led to a ruck close to the line from which prop Patrizio Banchar powered over. Further good loose work by the forwards led to a try under the post by Jonathan Haigh, converted by Gillespie. Richmond’s third try was cancelled out by Ealing’s final 5-pointer scored by Andrew Johnston.
Despite a few rough edges, this was a strong performance by Ealing Amateurs, who showed good levels of fitness and preparation.
Team: Patrizio Banchar, Liam McDonagh, Phil Cotter, Jonathan Haigh, Thomas Peppiatt, John Kane, Michael Whitney, Adam Hulmston, Olly Miller, Alex Gillespie, Pascal Baptiste, Des Crinion, Jonathan Knott, Stephen Verma, Andrew Johnston. Subs: Darren Almedia, Eoghan O’Sullivan, Ross Chernin, Terry Thompson.
Tries: Verma, Hulmston, Cotter, Knott, Gillespie, Banchar, Haigh, Johnston
Conversions: Gillespie (3)