REPORT: Ealing Trailfinders 1st XV 34 – 16 Lydney

Ealing’s flying wing Phil Chester’s got his personal try scoring tally off the mark on Saturday at  Regentsholme as he bagged four tries as the West London side overcome a gritty Lydney performance. Chester’s was the leagues top try scorer last season with 27, and he set a marker down to repeat that achievement.

Director of Rugby Mike Cudmore said after the game, "Lydney is always a tough place to come and get a result.  I was pleased with the five point win and at times we played very well, but as you would expect this early in the season, still lots to work on"

On a day ideal for fast flowing rugby, it was the home side that threw everything at their London counterparts from the start of proceedings. For all the effort all they came away with was a 6th minute penalty from new signing Brett Turner.

Ealing too had new signings on show. Centre Neil Hallet from Esher, along with his number 8 team mate Lee Starling, and Cornish Pirate Matt Evans all produced performances that will have pleased their director of Rugby.

Mike  commented " "They have all settled in well and have added a lot of experience to the team.  They are all very good players but also good club men"

It was however on 9 minutes that Chester’s scored the for the first of his four tries, as the ball was spun into the wide expanses to find Chesters who crossed over to open Ealing’s account. . Centre Neill Hallett converted to put the Vallis Way side 3-7 ahead. The same double act repeated the performance on 14 minutes as Ealing eased into a 14-3 lead on 15 minutes.

Brett Turner added a penalty to put the home side on the board after Ealing were adjudged offside in the forwards, cutting the deficit to 6-14 on 33 minutes. Chester’s took his chance for a third, after a  period of stagnate play in midfield saw him break away on 36 minutes – Hallet narrowly missing the extra points.

Straight after half time, it was Turner who claimed his third penalty as Ealing were again offside, reducing the deficit to 10 points.  Ealing were continually pressing Lydney back in defence and some impressive hounding by the omnipresent back row of Jay King, Blair Morris and Lee Starling led to another Lydney mistake, the ball being transferred to Chester’s who needed no second invitation and he crossed for his fourth try of the day on 44 minutes and with it a bonus point for Ealing.

Scrum half Morgan Thompson was the beneficiary of another Lydney mistake caused by the tenacious Ealing defence, as he won a foot-race and crossed for the visitors fifth and final try on 49 minutes with Hallet adding the conversion, taking then into a 31-9 lead.

On 64 minutes Lydney produced a fine move resulting in Charlie Vine coming off his wing to outpace the visitors defence, Turner converting to close the gap to 16-31. The final score of the day went to Hallet on 75 minutes to see Ealing home 34-16.

Captain & fly half Ben Ward said after the first league game of the season, "There are no easy away games in this league. If you dont turn up in the right frame of mind and fully focused you will get found out. Thats why its especially pleasing to come away to Lydney and leave with 5 points. It was the first game of the season and its always nice to get our first win under our belt. There are lots of areas where we know we will improve and get better over the coming weeks, but we are very satisfied with the start we have made".

Next Saturday, Ealing Trailinders entertain local rivals Richmond FC in their second National 2 South game of the current season. The proceedings start at 11.30am with a game between the club’s two Veterans sides, The Ealing Evergreens and Richmond Heavies, followed by the clubs 2nd XV who kick off at 1pm.


Ealing Trailfinders:
15 – Pete Hodgkinson, 14 – Owen Bruynseels, 13 – Markus Burcham, 12 – Neil Hallett,11 – Phil Chesters, 10 – Ben Ward (Capt), 9 – Morgan Thompson , 1 – Lewis Brown, 2 – Rob Buchanan, 3 – Dinos Alexopolous, 4 – Matt Evans, 5 – Gethin Davies, 6 – Blair Morris, 7 – Jay King, 8 – Lee Starling.
Subs: 16 – Jon Moyce, 17 – Sonny Kuwana, 18 – James Winterbottom, 19 – Karl Gibson 20 – Sam Wardingley