Ealing’s first ever visit to Monks Lane for this National 2 South league fixture saw them return to West London with a 14 try victory under their belt, as the league’s top try scorer Phil Chesters was the main beneficiary of the day as he bagged seven tries to take his personal tally to 36 for the season, the highest in all the National league rugby.
Other games in National 2 South also went Ealing’s way as well. Second placed Jersey found Henley Hawks a tough proposition. Leading 15-0 going into the half time break, they clung on to record a 18-15 point victory, and with it slipping further behind Ealing at the top of National 2 South. Richmond also found the going tougher than expected on their visit to Clifton, Ealing’s opponents next weekend. The Bristol side were leading 14-11 going into the final 10 minutes of the game. Richmond’s stand off Ross Broadfoot was their hero with a 72 minute try which he converted to record Richmond’s 12th win on the trot. Ealing visit Richmond for their re arranged league game on February 5th.
So it remains tight at the top of National 2 South. After 17 games, Ealing remain top on 75 points, followed by Jersey on 68, and Richmond on 67.
Ealing Director of Rugby Mike Cudmore said following Saturday’s game ,"The score line prior to the fixture was not important, it was the win and how we went about the game that mattered most. We came away with a big score on the board, and we now need a focused weeks training behind us before we meet Clifton at home on Saturday who are a good side"
Ealing made some changes to the previous weeks starting line up for this visit to Newbury. Full back Neil Hallett was rested, Pete Hodgkinson taking the number 15 shirt, whilst Ronny McLlean-Dents started his first game for the club following some impressive cameo rolls from the bench. Blair Morris took over the number 6 shirt from Karl Gibson.
Ealing flew out of the blocks against the league’s basement club, and it was prop Dinos Alexopoulos whose names was to appear first on the score sheet. Following a ruck close to the line, he muscled his way over to score.
Alexopoulos added of the Newbury game, "This game was a good test mentally for us as a team. It allowed us to work on some areas of the game that we maybe haven’t been as good as we would of liked in recent matches. I was personally very happy to open the try scoring and maybe should of score another but to put 90 points on any team is pleasing. Credit must also go the the Newbury side who never gave up and scored a try of their own"
Centre Ronny McLean-Dents converted Alexopoolous try for the first of his eight successful conversions of the day. Ealing were overpowering the young Newbury Blues side, and they had the four try bonus point in the bag after 21 minutes, following early tries from Owen Bruynseels, Pete Hodgkinson, and Phil Chesters, the first of his seven on the day.
In the run up to half time, Newbury responded with a 13th minute penalty from full back Oscar Matthews, but it remained one way traffic, as Ealing added further tries by Bruynseels (two) and Chesters both grabbing three apiece, before the break, to take Ealing into a half time lead of 54-3.
The second half continued in the same way as the first had ended. Ealing pushing Newbury to their limits. The home side did get one try and with it the cheers of the home supporters. With Ealing pressing, full back Oscar Matthews intercepted an Ealing attack, his legs gave out short of the line, but open side Paul Archer was on hand to score the valuable try for the home side. Matthews converting .
Simon Bundy replaced Bruynseels and Karl Gibson coming on for Steve Neville. Number 8 Anders Nilsson took a breather, Ben Griffiths replacing him.
Phil Chesters was cantering around Monks Field giving the Newbury defence nightmares, he added a further four tries to his seasons total, which were interspersed by tries for second row Ryan Gregory and centre Mclean-Dents. Phil Chesters’ seventh try came on the whistle, and completed the 90-10 demolition.
Following the game, skipper Ben Ward was pragmatic enough to realise there would be tougher fixtures on the cards for his team, and they would begin with next week’s home fixture against a Clifton side rejuvenated by their game against Richmond. He said, "We came to Newbury looking to put a good performance together. Its very difficult when the result is like it is to stick to your patterns and not let the game get too loose. We are pleased with the result and will now turn our attention to Clifton who will be tough opponents this Saturday."
Ealing’s try scoring prop Dinos Alexopoulos is aware that Clifton will offer a different challange , "The Clifton game we know will be a tough match. You only need to look at last weekends fixture against Richmond to see that there are a very good team that will need a big home performance by us to win. The season so far been has produced some very good results for us. We are currently sitting pretty at the top of the league as a result of taking each game as it comes and taking nobody lightly. Lets hope the season continues in this vain".
15 – Pete Hodgkinson, 14 – Owen Bruynseels , 13 – Ronald McLean- Dents 12 – Joe Price, 11 – Phil Chesters, 10 – Ben Ward (c) , 9 – Morgan Thompson
8 – Anders Nilsson , 7 – Lee Starling, 6 – Blair Morris , 5 – Matt Evans, 4 – Ryan Gregory , 3 – Steve Neville, 2 – Dinos Alexopoulos, 1 – Lewis Brown
16 – Karl Gibson , 17 – Sungo Kuwana, 18 – Ben Griffiths , 19- Dave Essien 20 – Simon Bundy