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REPORT: Wasps Amateurs 5 – 63 Ealing Amateurs

Ealing Amateurs overwhelmed Wasps in the semi-final of the North-West Middlesex Floodlit Cup, running in eleven tries scored by ten different players and giving their confidence a massive boost ahead of a crucial match against Chichester II.

On a beautiful spring day and with a firm pitch suited to their flowing style, Ealing typically made a strong start, taking the lead after just two minutes when full-back Steve Verma rode a last-ditch tackle to make the line. Other than at the re-start, Wasps were pinned inside their own half for the whole of the next ten minutes, but managed to keep the rampant Ealing forwards at bay. After a brief foray into the Ealing half, Wasps lost possession and hooker Liam McDonagh timed his pass to wing Hugh Williams, who cut inside his opposite number to finish under the posts.

Five minutes later the lead was stretched to 15-0 when flanker Ed Shryane scored direct from a line-out catch. With just 25 minutes on the clock Ealing notched a fourth try through wing Pascal Baptiste, on the end of a fluent back-line move.

Wasps then finally managed run through a few phases, resulting in a try half-way out. With two minutes of the first half remaining, McDonagh probed close to the left touch-line, and from quickly recycled ball second-row Sean Kennett powered over for his fourth try of the month. With Verma converting, Ealing were 22 points to the good at half-time.

The second half brought a further six tries, the first of which came on 45 minutes in a fluent move launched by a counter-attack from deep by centre Gerardo Minich, who timed a perfect pass to Baptiste. The ball was moved right and then left, and finally Baptiste was on hand to score his second try of the afternoon, cutting inside the last tackler.

Flanker Stuart Miller was next to add his name to the scoresheet, touching down close to the posts after good interplay among the forwards, with Verma adding the conversion. With a quarter of the game remaining Baptiste set off on another powerful run and offloaded to Minich, who finished under the posts, Verma again adding the extras. On 70 minutes the increasingly dominant Ealing pack mauled their way over the line, with prop Ash Spencer credited as scorer.

Further tries by substitute wing Alex Adide, selflessly put in by inside-centre Des Crinion, and young Spanish scrum-half Victor Zelaya, impressively stealing possession when a Wasps counter-attack was halted and scampering unopposed to the line, with Adide adding the conversion, rounded off an emphatic victory.

The Amateurs face a sterner test this Saturday, 22 March, at home to Chichester II in what could prove to be the title decider in Zoo Shield 3 South. They lost 23-19 away to Chichester in a tight encounter at the end of November and will be eager to gain revenge for what remains their last reverse.