Ealing Trailfinders 27-14 Doncaster Knights
Ealing Trailfinders recorded their second victory of the season when they ran in three tries against Doncaster Knights, last season’s Greene King IPA Championship runners-up.
Joe Munro scored a first-half try before Aled Jenkins marked his debut with a try and Curtis Wilson scored his third of the season. Fly-half Aaron Penberthy meanwhile marked his first start for the team by landing all three conversions and two penalties early in the second half that kept the Yorkshiremen at arm’s length.
The opening 10 minutes were cagey as both team’s pack tried to impose themselves on the match. Both won penalties from each other and both tried to maul their way across the try-line, but neither were successful.
From a scrum on the Doncaster Knight’s line the home side set up an attacking platform and after Joe Munro was stopped on the line, James Cordy-Redden was unable to cleanly collect Aaron Penberthy’s cross-kick.
Cordy-Redden then made an important tackle to stop his opposite number Tyson Lewis as Doncaster Knights started to build a counter-attack.
When the play went up the other end an Ealing Trailfinders scrum gave Penberthy time to set up the attack and he set Munro free to hit a strong line run in for the opening score.
Cordy-Redden came to the rescue again when Knights’ fly-half Simon Humberstone threatened on the counter, Penberthy’s kicking kept the visitors pinned in their half.
Eventually they broke free and after Lewis broke the line he set Dave Clark to run in the five points that Doug Flockhart converted to tie the scores.
Ealing Trailfinders went back on the attack and Lewis Thiede almost set Luke Carter free after the tight-head had tapped a penalty. They continued to apply the pressure as half-time approached, but despite their best efforts Doncaster Knights’ defence held firm.
After half-time both teams sought to move the ball wide and after good Ealing Trailfinders pressure Penberthy knocked over a penalty to restore the hosts lead. He then added another after his high, hanging ball has caused the Knights’ defence problems.
Debutant Jenkins was beginning to make his presence felt in the centres and he too had to make an important tackle just as Lewis threatened to break clear.
Dave Nolan came close to scoring Doncaster Knights’ second when he charged down Carter’s kick, but the second-row knocked on as he went to pick up the ball. Flockhart then pushed a penalty wide as the match moved past the hour mark.
Carwyn Jones nearly grabbed an opportunist try when he swooped on a Willie Ryan charge-down, but he was stopped on the line. The ball came back quickly though and Jenkins had time and space to jink through the Knights’ defence for Ealing Trailfinders’ second try.
Arthur Ellis then showed his prowess when he won a turnover. He quickly moved the ball on to Llewelyn Jones, he found Ryan and he had the simple job of putting Wilson away in the corner.
As the Knights’ fought back fullback Jarvis knocked on with the line at his mercy and the Ealing Trailfinders defence continued to hold out though until five minutes from time when replacement Declan Cusack slipped through for their second try.
Doncaster Knights continued to assault the Ealing Trailfinders line as the clock ran down and after they went through multiple phases in attack, Nolan knocked on the tackle and after the Ealing Trailfinders forwards recycled the ball, Alex Walker hammered the ball off the field to ensure only the hosts claimed any points from the match.
Ealing Trailfinders are next in action next Sunday, 9 October, against Richmond at the Athletic Ground at 3pm.
Tries (Munro 21, Jenkins 63, Wilson 68), Conversions (Penberthy 21, 63, 68), Penalties (46, 51)
Tries (Clark 31, Cusack 75), Conversions (Flockhart 31, Cusack 75)
Will Harries, James Cordy-Redden, Aled Jenkins, Joe Munro, Curtis Wilson, Aaron Penberthy, Luke Carter; Ignacio Lancuba, Rhys Lawrence, Lewis Thiede, Carwyn Jones, Llewelyn Jones, Willie Ryan, Arthur Ellis, Mark Bright (captain)
Matt Cornish, James Gibbons, Alex Penny, Harry Casson, Chris York, Alex Walker, Ben Ward
Paul Jarvis, Dougie Flockhart, Mat Clark, Lloyd Hayes, Tyson Lewis, Simon Humberstone, Michael Heaney (captain), Richard List, Ben Hunter, WillGriff John, Dave Nolan, Glen Young, Latu Makaafi, Beau Robinson, Alex Shaw
Robin Hislop, Harry Allen, Joe Sproston, Jarad Williams, Sean Scanlon, Dec Cusack, Sam Edgerley
Referee – Fergus Kirby
Attendance - 629