Nottingham 17-13 Ealing Trailfinders
Ealing Trailfinders were unable to maintain their unbeaten run against a well-drilled Nottingham side, but James Gibbons late side try ensured they returned home with a losing point that kept them in third place overnight in the Greene King IPA Championship overnight.
Ben Ward’s started strongly and their pack was quick to take control. They won penalties from two strong scrums and Aaron Penberthy kicked both to open a six-point lead.
Nottingham had chances of their own and after new-boy Mitch Lam pulled his first penalty wide, he struck his second through the posts.
Otherwise Ealing Trailfinders enjoyed the better of the first half, albeit without breaking through a well-drilled Nottingham defence that featured Ealing Trailfinders old boy James Stephenson at fullback.
After half time Nottingham came out strongly and began to impose themselves on the match and they were duly rewarded for their increase in intensity. Centre Viki Hakalo twice burst over from close range for tries that Lam converted.
It put the hosts in full control, but the visitors fought their way back into the match. Nottingham’s defence continue to dominate though, but with the last play of the match Gibbons was driven over from a mauled lineout to ensure they didn’t return down the M1 empty-handed.
Tries (Hakalo 46, 52), Conversions (Lam 46, 52), Penalties (Lam 24)
Tries (James Gibbons 79), Conversions (Penberthy 80), Penalties (Penberthy 3,12)
James Stephenson, David Williams, Oli Evans, Vili Hakalo, Charlie Thacker, Mitch Lam, Murray McConnell; Harry Morley, Jimmy Stevens, Ben Hooper, Toby Freeman, Tom Holmes, Ben Morris (captain), Jordan Coghlan, Shane Buckley
TJ Harris, Tom West, Tom Heard, Matt Everard, Josh Poullet, Darryl Veenendaal, Sam Yawayawa
Luke Daniels, Rhys Crane, Aled Jenkins, Joe Munro, Curtis Wilson, Aaron Penberthy, Luke Carter; Ignacio Lancuba, Rhys Lawrence, Lewis Thiede, Carwyn Jones, Adam Preocanin, Willie Ryan, Seb Nagle-Taylor, Mark Bright (captain)
Matt Cornish, James Gibbons, Alex Penny, Harry Casson, Chris York, Alex Walker, James Cordy-Redden
Attendance – 1,050
Referee – Matt O’Grady