Ealing Trailfinders got their promotion bid back on track after last week’s slip-up at Rosslyn Park.
Ealing 36-25 Henley
by Adrian Hill
Henley, languishing near the foot of the table, were quickest off the mark, through an early Wil Fulton penalty. However, Ealing equalised with a calmly-taken Ben Ward drop goal, but Fulton quickly restored the lead for Henley from the tee.
Ealing adopted their familiar open style, but lacked accuracy early on. Full-back Peter Hodgkinson provided the spark they needed with an astute kick, almost picked up by Phil Chesters. Centre Marcus Burcham followed up to score the first try.
Six minutes later, elusive running by Bryan Young put Ealing on the brink of the line. Ward’s cross-kick was claimed by Hodgkinson and Chesters was given a simple score, his 11th of the campaign.
Back came Henley, lock Oliver Atkinson plunging through a gaping hole in the defence close to the posts. Fulton converted and it was 15-13 at the break.
Ealing weathered early second half pressure before another well-judged Ward cross-kick was gathered by Chesters, the wing off-loaded for the supporting Essien to score.
Henley hit back with a Jack Hennings try, but Ealing’s response was immediate, Young strolling in at the corner for a bonus point try. Chesters was denied a probable second touchdown by a blatant obstruction, the ensuing penalty try secured victory. Henley skipper Matt Payne finished off the scoring with surge from a line-out.
EALING: Hodgkinson, Young, Burcham, Price, Chesters, Ward, Gill, Charlton, Hodson, Alexopoulos , Gregory, Winterbottom, Essien, Wallace , Morris
Replacements: Kuwana , Neville, Davies, King, Anglim
HENLEY:Smith, Birtwistle, Baggett, James, Jones, Fulton, Xxxxxx, Fuller, Dalgleish, Hadfield, Atkinson, Green, Hennings, Stradwick, Payne M
>Replacements: Matthews, Penny, Payne T, Arron, Davies
Referee: Richard Parker-Sedgemore (Bristol)
Tries: Burcham 25, Chesters 31, Essien 51, Young 61, Penalty try 74
Conversions: Ward 32, 52, 62, 75
Drop Goal: Ward 11
Tries: Atkinson 38, Hennings 57, Payne M 77
Conversions: Fulton 39, 58
Penalties: Fulton 9, 15