Bannister double sees Academy U20 home

Henley Hawks U20 10 – 26 Ealing Trailfinders Academy

The rain cleared in time for kick off at Henley’s Dry Leas ground. The traffic didn’t…

This was the first meeting at the U20 age group for both clubs, with Henley keen to provide a player development group to help young players transition into adult rugby at National League level.

Eight players had earned a place in the Ealing squad off the back of some impressive Academy U18 games. Two more players on trial were also included in the match day squad. This made organisation a challenge but we train to embrace that.

Henley were a tough tackling outfit, repelling attack after attack. We would rightly be accused of playing too narrow, too often. But we also moved the ball well at times despite the greasy conditions. A Harry Vidler try and conversion was all we had to show for a half where we dominated both possession and territory.

The second half was a better example of manipulating the defence, playing wider and in waves. Three tries followed with two from prop Charlie Bannister and a fine individual effort from winger, James Booth.

Henley scored two tries of their own, which were just reward for a much improved 2nd half performance, especially from their ever dangerous inside centre.

Academy Director, John Lacey (speaking in the broken jaw absence of U20 Head Coach Tom Gammage) said “The boys did well to find a way to win that game, we struggled to break down Henley in the first half. We kept hammering away, but they kept knocking us back. We’ve been working hard on manipulating space but obviously need more time to hone that skill.I was impressed with the U18 boys, especially Connor Bowler and Adam Gilbert in the back row who ran themselves into the ground.

Our two trialists did really well, with only one training session under their bet, that was a big ask tonight.

We now have to recover quickly, do some gentle prep tomorrow night for Sundays game against Cambridge University U23”.

Please be aware that game on Sunday will be held at Merchant Taylor’s School, Moor Park, Northwood, HA6 2HT. See you there!!

Ealing Trailfinders Academy
Agu-Benson, Booth, Berrington, Godfrey, Moceica, Vidler, Brathwaite, Keheli, Gilbert, Bowler, Acellam, Pitkin, Robbins, Hoban, Barton


Bannister, Ziya-Zadeh, Ahmed, Chukwuma, Monponbanua, Rolfe, Rose, Harris


Tries – Vidler, Booth, Bannister (2)

Cons – Vidler (3)