Ealing Trailfinders scrum-half Morgan Thompson was left ruing a missed two points against Cornish Pirates in the Greene King IPA Championship on Sunday, but aware that the draw in the Duchy shows how far the team have come this season.
Ealing were leading 18-11 with five minutes to go thanks to a brace of tries from Phil Chesters and one from Andrew Henderson, when their left-wing Kyle Moyle scored a try that fly-half Keiran Hallett converted to tie the score.
It was an impressive performance from Mike Cudmore’s team and they had the hosts scrambling to hold them out at times, on a sticky pitch against a side that reached the Championship play-offs last season
“It is quite frustrating, we wanted to come away with more and should have, but coming down to Cornwall and getting two points considering we didn’t have a great amount of possession is positive, so we’ll take two points as it closes the gap to jersey to two,” Thompson said.
Despite Cornish Pirates taking the lead two minutes in from a penalty, Ealing were the next to score when Henderson dotted down. It was a pattern that continued throughout the match as the Ealing backline continually had the Pirates’ defence in all manner of problems whenever they had the chance to stretch their legs.
While the pitch didn’t appear made for running rugby after a week of heavy rain the Pirates’ ground staff had worked liked Trojans to make the pitch playable and ensured that it passed two pitch inspections before kick-off.
“We were free flowing; when we had the ball we had them under a lot of stress and they didn’t know how to cope with us, especially in the backline, it is just a shame we didn’t get away with the win,” Thompson added.
“It was a very sticky pitch because Phil was at full pace and very nearly getting caught for his tries. We are a side that likes to get the ball and run the ball and it showed today. When we have possession like that we can carve teams up.”
The draw did at least mean that while Ealing are still bottom, they have closed the gap on Jersey to two points.
It also continued the team’s good run of form since the start of 2014, something that is vital the side continues with three consecutive home matches coming up, against Leeds Carnegie, Bedford Blues and London Welsh.
“The improvement each game is getting bigger and bigger and with games like Leeds and London Welsh coming up we need that consistency,” Thompson said, “so it is back to the drawing board tomorrow and work towards Leeds on Saturday.”