REPORT: Ealing Trailfinders 1st XV 36-15 Shelford

Five-try Ealing Trailfinders jumped to second place in national 2 South, having too much pace and power for a determined, but ultimately outclassed Shelford at Vallis Way.

The hosts dominated the early stages, Ben Ward stroking over two penalties. However, the visitors replied with their first attack, skipper Alex Birkby diving over from a ruck and converted by Ed Gough.

Kiba Richards on the way to scoring

Kiba Richards on the way to scoring

An entertaining opening quarter continued with Ealing’s well-worked restart giving Kiba Richards a cruise to the line.

Back came Shelford with a Gough penalty, but Ealing’s willingness to run with the ball, and strength in the set-piece, kept the men from Cambridgeshire pinned in their own half.  Richards eluded a string of would-be tacklers and appeared to touch down, but the officials ruled against him. However, David Essien soon surged over to give Ealing a 16-10 half-time lead.


Davis Essien scores

Shortly after the break, good work by Essien instigated a flowing move from the Ealing 22. Chesters sprinted 60 metres before handing full-back Peter Hodgkinson a trot to the line. More enterprising counter –attacking should have led to another Ealing try but Marcus Burcham knocked on with the line at his mercy.

Ealing’s dominance at last told on the hour as quick ruck ball and swift passing sent Chesters to the corner for his eighth try of the campaign. Tongan powerhouse Aki Lea kept faint Shelford hopes alive but they were knocked back by Ward’s third penalty.
Chesters went over again but the referee deemed Hodgkinson’s pass to the wing as forward, before sub Bryan Young dotted down to confirm a resounding victory.

Hodgkinson, Richards, Burcham, Price, Chesters, Ward, Gill, Charlton, Hodson, Neville, Gregory, Davies, Essien, Morris, Hall
Replacements: Buchanan, Alexopoulos, Winterbottom, Francis, Young
SHELFORD: Gough, Jones, Glitherow, Berridge, Chiwanga, Lewis, Birkby, Anderson, Ronaki, Arnold, Mills, McLaughlin, Jackowski, Mclintock, Lea
Replacements: Erven, Gregersen, Bullen-Brown, Glynn, Ball

Ealing 36

Tries: Richards 15, Essien 38, Hodgkinson 45, Chesters 60, Young 73
Conversions: Ward 46
Penalties: Ward 3, 10, 69

Shelford 15

Tries:  Birkby 13, Lea 66
Conversions:  Gough 14
Penalties:  Gough 20


By Adrian Hill