Ealing Trailfinders produced a scintillating display of attacking rugby to overwhelm Sedgley Park 62-7 and stay on course to win the National One Championship. Ten tries, including a double hat trick from winger Phil Chesters, on a sunny spring day were more than enough to see off a an injury-plagued and disjointed Tigers outfit at Park Lane.
Ealing Trailfinders got into their work early in the game when a scything outside break from Tom Wheatcroft had the Tigers defence at sixes and sevens. The ball was recycled from Morgan Thompson to Chesters, who coasted in under the posts to open the scoring. The Tigers found themselves licking their wounds behind their line for the second time in five minutes when Andrew Henderson broke from the half-way line to race in and score. Wheatcroft’s double conversion took the score to 14-0 in favour of the imperious Ealing Trailfinders unit. The visitors forward pack flexed their muscles after a handful of powerful scrums forced referee Wayne Falla to sin-bin Matt Alcock for repeated infringements at the set-piece. Ealing Trailfinders made the most of the numerical advantage when Chesters went over after collecting a deft grubber kick from Wheatcroft, before the speedster scored again to claim a first-half hat trick. Ealing Trailfinders back division were proving to be too much for the home side as Peter Hodgkinson sliced through the weak defence to score his side’s fifth try before the half hour mark, in the process extending the lead to 29-0. The Tigers did manage to cross the Ealing Trailfinders whitewash when second row Jimmy Lloyd burrowed his way over from close range. Matthew Riley’s conversion took the score to 29-7 and it remained that way until half-time.
Ealing Trailfinders continued their supreme dominance in the second half when Chesters scored another try, this time from first phase possession. Chesters added a further two tries to take his season’s try tally to 29 and reclaim the top position in the league’s try-scoring chart. With a quarter of the game remaining and the result confirmed, the Tigers threw caution to the wind and strung a succession of enterprising plays together. However, their attacking endeavour was well marshalled by a disciplined and structured Ealing Trailfinders defence. A counter-attacking move involving replacement flanker Lee Starling and Thompson enabled captain Ben Ward to dart over for another converted score. Replacement second row Gavin Curry completed the rout when he went over for Ealing Trailfinders final try of the game. Wheatcroft’s sixth successful conversion of the day took the score to 62-7 and concluded a clinical all-round performance from an Ealing Trailfinders side focused on cementing top position in the National One table.
Ealing Trailfinders return home to Vallis Way in West Ealing this Saturday where they will host Loughborough Students. To find out more please click here