London Irish 32-12 Ealing Trailfinders
Ealing Trailfinders left the Madejski Stadium empty-handed after a tough encounter against Greene King IPA Championship promotion favourites London Irish.
Willie Ryan and Matt Cornish scored Ealing Trailfinders’ tries, but the Exiles’ showed why they are tipped for an immediate return to the Aviva Premiership by running in two tries in each half to claim all five points on offer.
Ealing Trailfinders kicked off and enjoyed the first few minutes in the Exiles’ half before fullback James Marshall cleared the danger.
Jerry Sexton then pinched a line-out which gave Irish the chance to attack and after they brought the ball back from left to right Ben Ramson was set free to go over in the corner.
The Exiles continued to dominate, but despite trying to attack with a rolling maul they were unable to find the cohesion and Ealing Trailfinders’ defence held out. Eventually the hosts’ pressure told and Tommy Bell stretched their lead further with a simple penalty kick.
James Cordy-Redden and Phil Chesters nearly broke through the Irish defence after the wing had taken advantage of a good bounce from Cordy-Redden’s clearance. The Exiles’ line held, but Ealing Trailfinders maintained their pressure and from a line-out Ryan peeled round to crash over in the corner.
Bell knocked over his second penalty as half-time drew near and just before the whistle flanker Joe Trayfoot found a yard of space to finish off a move by the corner flag.
After the initial exchanges of the second half, London Irish seized the upper hand and Sexton and former Ealing Trailfinders loanee Richard Palframan both broke the visitor’s line. However, Ealing Trailfinders’ scramble defence held out and eventually won a penalty that allowed the defence to clear and catch their breath.
The Exiles quickly went back on the attack though and after ex-England wing Topsy Ojo broke the Ealing Trailfinders line the ball ended up with former Wellington Hurricanes fullback Marshall, who wiggled through to score.
Cordy-Redden and Chesters again teamed up to pressure the Irish defence in their 22, but again the Exiles rear guard stood firm. They then continued to hold the hosts in their 22 for some time, but without breaching their tryline.
As the match wore on Irish wrapped up their four-try bonus point when replacement Scott Steele scampered over from close range.
The visitors had the final word though. Callum Wilson set Will Harries running and while he was stopped on the line, hooker Cornish followed up to seize possession and score.
Ealing Trailfinders are back in action at Vallis Way next Saturday, 1 October, when Doncaster Knights visit for a 3pm kick off.
Tries (Ransom 4, Trayfoot 40, Marshall 56, Steele 78), Conversions (Bell 4, 56, Marshall 78), Penalties (Bell 19, 36)
Tries (Ryan 32, Cornish 80), Conversions (Ward 32)
James Marshall, Topsy Ojo, Aseli Tikoirotuma, Fergus Mulchrone, Ben Ransom, Tommy Bell, Darren Allinson; Tom Court, Gerard Ellis, Richard Palframan, Jerry Sexton, Sebastian De Chaves, Joe Trayfoot, Max Northcote-Green, Luke Narraway (captain)
David Paice, Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi, Ollie Hoskins, Will Lloyd, Mike Coman, Scott Steele, Tom Fowlie
Will Harries, Rhys Crane, James Cordy-Redden, Luke Peters, Phil Chesters, Ben Wards, Alex Walker; Will Davis, Matt Cornish, Alex Penny, Scott Andrews, Llewelyn Jones, Chris York (captain), Arthur Ellis, Willie Ryan
Rhys Lawrence, James Gibbons, Sam Rodman, Carwyn Jones, Harry Casson, Luke Carter, Callum Wilson
Referee – Matthew O’Grady
Attendance – 3,337