Ealing Trailfinders 13-30 Yorkshire Carnegie
Ealing Trailfinders were unable to take any points from their opening fixture as one of the promotion candidates left with all five on offer.
Harry Casson scored his first try for Ealing Trailfinders and Luke Daniels weighed in with eight points from a conversion and two penalties. They were unable to add any more points after half-time though as Yorkshire Carnegie used the wind and high-pressure defence to pin Ealing Trailfinders in their half.
The hosts began strongly and after strong carries from Joe Munro and Rhys Crane, Mark Bright came close to scoring from Jonny Bentley’s deft chip over the defence. Instead they went back for an earlier penalty and Daniels opened the scoring.
Yorkshire Carnegie hit back with their first attack of the match. Flanker Ollie Stedman carried strongly, Joe Ford made a half-break and McColl raced home in the corner.
Ealing Trailfinders used the wind well and only an unfortunate bounce stopped Curtis Wilson taking full advantage of another Bentley chip. Even so the hosts retook the lead from a second Daniels penalty following good play from centre Joe Munro whose powerful charge took him deep into Carnegie territory.
As the half wore on Carnegie enjoyed a good period of pressure and forced a number of penalties in quick succession, the last of which Alex Davies converted to put the visitors back in front. Another Stedman break then took Carnegie up to the Ealing Trailfinders line and after a number of pick and goes, Dean Schofield found a gap to go over.
Second-row Harry Casson showed a deft pair of hands to dummy his way through the Carnegie defence and a clean pair of heels to go under between the posts, but before half-time Carnegie stretched their lead when Lucock finished off a move that started with a powerful Ryan Burrows break.
The weather came into play more as the swirling wind was joined by rain. It caused errors on both sides, though Andrew Forsyth came within inches of a try before he was hauled down. Two phases on Ealing Trailfinders encroached and Ford scored the first points of the second half from a penalty.
Carnegie added a penalty try from a rolling maul that earned them a bonus point and then controlled the match till the final whistle.
Ealing Trailfinders now travel to face Cornish Pirates on Sunday 11 September, before their next home match against Jersey Reds on 17 September.
Tries (Casson 37), Conversions (Penalties 38), Penalties (Daniels 3, 20)
Tries (McColl 4, Schofield 30, Lucock 39, Penalty 70), Conversions (Davies 31, Ford 70), Penalties (Davies 27, Ford 60)
Luke Daniels, Rhys Crane, James Cordy-Redden, Joe Munro, Curtis Wilson, Jonny Bentley, Alex Walker; Ignacio Lancuba, Rhys Lawrence, Lewis Thiede, Carwyn Jones, Harry Casson, Willie Ryan, Iain Grieve, Mark Bright (captain)
Arthur Ellis, Will Davis, Alex Penny, Llewelyn Jones, Lewis Jones, Luke Carter, Ben Ward
Stevie McColl, Seb Stegmann, Andy Forsyth, Pete Lucock, Jonah Holmes, Joe Ford, Alex Davies; Charlie Beech, Phil Nilsen, Ciaran Parker, Dean Schofield, Dan Sanderson, Ollie Stedman, Richard Mayhew, Ryan Burrows (captain)
Jordan Poole, Lee Imiolek, Matt Smith, Richard Beck, Andy Saull, Max Green, Alex Gray
Referee – Darren Gamage
Attendance - 635