REPORT: Ealing Trailfinders 78 - 12 Wharfedale
Ealing Trailfinders were in impressive form as they ran in 12 tries against a tricky Wharfedale side to cement their position at the top of National 1.
The visitors showed that they were prepared to play with the ball in hand from the kickoff and twice opted to kick for the corner rather than the posts with two early penalties, but on both occasions Ealing Trailfinders repelled the attack.
A Llewelyn Jones charge through the Wharfedale defence swung the momentum back in the hosts’ favour and soon after Luke Daniels used his pace to escape down the right for his second try in two weeks.
The try put Ealing Trailfinders firmly in control and with strong carrying from Tom Brown and Paul Spivey gaps began to open up in the Wharfedale defence. Tom Wheatcroft nearly ghosted through, but from a catch and driven lineout Arthur Ellis plunged over for his 15th try of the season.
Moments later Daniels and Phil Chesters linked up on the left for the league’s leading scorer to stretch his tally to 19. Four minutes later Daniels picked a sharp line to break the defence and then Ellis latched onto another driving maul for his second.
Despite Ealing Trailfinders’ dominance, Wharfedale managed to capitalise when they had the chance to score. After kicking for a lineout flanker Daniel Solomi broke the line to race away in the corner.
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Daniels completed his hattrick when he popped up on Chris Kinloch’s shoulder, but the visitors responded in fine style when they ran a penalty and set Jack Barnard free for a try that Jamie Guy converted on the stroke of halftime.
After the initial exchanges of the second half, Ealing Trailfinders again asserted their dominance and only illegal play stopped Ellis from completing his hattrick of rolling maul tries.
Wharfedale’s Adam Howard and Matt Beesley were both in the sinbin when Brown scored the first of the second half from the back of a scrum and then Chesters took advantage of the extra width to score his second in the corner.
Alex Walker scooted round the back of a rolling maul to stretch the lead further and good link up play between Ellis and his fellow flanker Anders Nilsson ensured that Ealing Trailfinders kept the play in the Wharfedale half from the restart.
The dominance and pressure paid off just after the hour mark when Alex Bradley came off the bench and with his first touch swooped on a loose lineout throw to score Ealing Trailfinders’ 10th try.
Despite the pressure Wharfedale enjoyed a spell when they gained the upper hand and had the home defence scrambling to reorganise. Joshua Prell and Cameron Hudson showed a good turn of pace and scrum-half James Doherty was a sniping presence, but when an attack broke down, Chesters and Will Harries led the counter-attack and Walker was on half to collect the final pass for his second.
Nilsson crashed over from close range to ensure that all four members of the back row finished the day on the scoresheet and while Wharfedale came again, Chris Kinloch led another counter-attack and while he was tackled into touch it brought the curtain down on a thoroughly impressive performance.
Luke Daniels, Chris Kinloch, Sam Wardingley, Tom Wheatcroft, Phil Chesters, Ben Ward, Alex Walker, Jamie Kilbane, Karl Gibson, Alex Penny, Paul Spivey, Llewelyn Jones, Anders Nilsson, Arthur Ellis, Tom Brown (captain)
Will Davis, Nathan Buck, Steve Pape, Alex Bradley, Will Harries
Taylor Prell, Lloyd Davies, Cameron Hudson, Tom Davidson, Oliver Cicognini, Jamie Guy, James Doherty (captain); Joe Altham, Dan Stockdale, Jake Armstrong, Adam Howard, Alex Powell, Jack Barnard, Dan Solomi, Josh Burridge
Matt Beesely, Ian Larkin, Chris Steel, James Tyson, Joshua Prell
Tries (Daniels 9, 23, 35 Ellis 15, 27 Chester 18, 49 Brown 47, Walker 52, 70, Bradley 62, Nilsson 74), Conversions (Ward 9, 15, 24, 27, 33, 53, 63, 70, 74)
Tries (Solomi 32, Barnard 39), Conversions (Guy 40)
STORM Watches Man of the Match – Luke Daniels
Attendance – 480
Referee – Rob Warburton