Ealing Trailfinders 27-20 Richmond
Ealing Trailfinders ran in four tries to stay fourth in the Greene King IPA Championship after taking all five points on offer.
Wings James Cordy-Redden and Miles Mantella scored the tries on a day when the two teams hammered into each other, with little neighbourly love on display on the Valentine’s Day weekend.
After the initial exchanges Rob Kirby kicked the first points of the day, but Ealing Trailfinders responded by setting up Luke Daniels for a run that took him deep into Richmond’s half.
Jordan Simpson-Heft showed the visitors’ determination not to take a backward step when he powered into Aled Jenkins. However, the ball was quickly turned over and Cordy-Redden plucked Penberthy’s cross-kick out of the sky and raced away to score in the corner.
The pair nearly repeated the move moments later as Ealing Trailfinders played their advantage. After the move was stopped Luke Carter then raced through the middle of the Richmond defence from the base of the scrum.
Ealing Trailfinders continued to apply the pressure and after two penalties took them up to the Richmond line, the ball went left, then back to the right where Joe Munro set Mantella free to run in his first try since he joined the club in December.
An accidental offside by Ross Grimstone stopped a Richmond attack and after Penberthy found touch with the penalty, Barney Maddison’s catch and Chris York’s carry broke the game line and Jenkins set up Cordy-Redden for his second.
Again Richmond came at the Ealing Trailfinders defence with Ronnie McLean making a number of strong carries, but again the home side’s defence held firm and Munro, York and Mantella then combined to turn defence into attack.
The visitors broke through on the stroke of half-time when flanker Jack Allcock was driven over from a rolling maul after the Richmond pack had gone through a number of phases to win a penalty.
They continued to go on the offensive after half-time though it took 10 minutes for either side to make the breakthrough. It came after Arthur Ellis found space in midfield, used quick feet to beat his man and then popped the ball to Mantella to race away.
Richmond responded with a converted try after tight-head prop Rupert Harden drove over, but again it prefaced a good period of possession and territory for the home side and only an interception from wing Jonathan Woodward stopped Munro joining the list of try-scorers.
Penberthy knocked over a penalty to keep Richmond at arm’s length as the clock ran down and captain Mark Bright then came up with a vital line-out steal as Richmond went on the attack.
It held them at bay for a short while, but with the final kick Kirby landed his second penalty that ensured they went home across Kew Bridge with a losing bonus point.
Tries (Cordy-Redden 11, 26 Mantella 22, 50), Conversions (Penberthy 12, 26), Penalties (Penberthy 75)
Tries (Allcock 40, Harden 55), Conversions (Kirby 40, 55), Penalties (Kirby 7, 80)
Luke Daniels, Miles Mantella, Aled Jenkins, Joe Munro, James Cordy-Redden, Aaron Penberthy, Luke Carter; Will Davis, Alun Walker, Lewis Thiede, Llewelyn Jones, Barney Maddison, Chris York, Arthur Ellis, Mark Bright (captain)
Rhys Lawrence, James Gibbons, Sam Rodman, Harry Casson, Rayn Smid, Alex Walker, Lewis Jones
Rob Kirby, Jono Woodward, Cameron Mitchell, Ronnie McLean, Jordan Simpson-Heft, Rory Damant, Sam Stuart, Joe Tarrant, Ross Grimstone, Rupert Harden, Will Warden (captain), Matt Corker, Adam Peters, Jack Allcock, Chris Davies
Richard Townsend, Timmy Walford, Tom Sargeant, Jamie Gibbs, Freddie Gabbitass, Harry Edwards, Jeremy Cunnew
STORM Watches Man of the Match – Aaron Penberthy
Referee – Steve Lee
Attendance – 1,022