All fears were vanished as the Ealing Trailfinders team produced a fantastic defensive effort to come out victorious in Manchester. Ealing Trailfinders welcomed Ben Ward and Ryan Gregory back into the starting line-up for this all important away fixture.
Ealing Trailfinders defensive superiority showed in the early passages of the game, as the Tigers attempted to play a potentially dangerous off-load style of rugby. The visiting side demonstrated high levels of patience and communication to prevent the Tigers from making any substantial gain-line yardage.
The first try by Phil Chesters came about after a dominant tackle led to the Tigers spilling the ball on the half way line. Morgan Thompson spotted the open space and kicked the ball only meters within the Tigers line, knowing that Chesters’ speed would help him in getting to the ball first to pick up and dot it down. The Tigers side looked dangerous at times and if it wasn’t for inconsistent handling errors the Ealing Trailfinders team would have had to defend for larger parts of the game.
Ealing Trailfinders second try just after the half hour mark was pure opportunism from that man Chesters again. Ealing Trailfinders were building pressure in the Tigers half when their ball became slow and the momentum was lost. This is when the league’s top try scorer added to his tally when he chipped and gathered the ball to score. Neil Hallett made amends with his earlier missed conversion to give Ealing Trailfinders a 12-0 lead. With just several minutes remaining in the half Anders Nilsson went down injured with an injury. The flanker was replaced by James Grimes. Ward’s vision and poor Tigers defending resulted in Peter Hodgkinson crossing for the visitor’s third try of the half. The fly-half produced a wonderful cross-field kick from first phase possession for Hodgkinson to collect and dot down.
Sedgley Park’s only points of the half came about after the Ealing Trailfinders side were found guilty of having their hands in the ruck. Full-back Gregg Smith kicked the penalty to have Ealing Trailfinders leading 17-3 at half time.
10 minutes into the second half and Ealing Trailfinders really turned on the style for their 4th try. Ealing Trailfinders phases reaching the teens had the Tigers defence in all sorts of bother. Ward managed to expose a chink in the hosts’ defence to break through and pass to centre Rory Damant to score. Hallett added the extras.
Tim Brockett scored his first try of the season after some good work from the Ealing Trailfinders forwards at the driving maul. Hallett kicked the conversion to have Ealing Trailfinders leading 31-3 with 20 minutes to play. Phil Chesters completed his hat-trick with a typical poachers try as the in-form winger snuffled a loose pass to run the length of the pitch to score under the Tigers posts. Hallett’s conversion gave the Ealing Trailfinders side a well-deserved 38-3 lead. Tigers centre Matt Riley restored some pride for the hosts with a try that was not converted. The score line 38-8 remained that way till the final whistle blew.
Mike Cudmore Ealing Trailfinders Director of Rugby said “It was a good five point away win with our defence stepping up in quality and intensity this week against a potentially dangerous attacking side. In attack we played well and our retention and completion rates were the best of the season”
Blaydon travel to Vallis Way this Saturday as the Ealing Trailfinders side will hope to build on their good start to the season. 2.30pm kick off.