REPORT: Esher 5 – 22 Ealing Trailfinders
Ealing Trailfinders stretched their unbeaten run this season to eight match with a hard-fought win over a determined Esher side.
While Ben Ward’s side enjoyed the bulk of possession and territory, they had to work hard to break down an Esher defence that had been the bedrock to their unbeaten home record before the start of the match.
Arthur Ellis scored twice and Steve Pape added a second after halftime, while Matt Jarvis landed a conversion and penalty.
Ealing Trailfinders didn’t take long to impose themselves on the match and after a penalty was kicked to the corner, Llewelyn Jones won the lineout and the pack drove Ellis over for his sixth try of the season which Jarvis converted.
Ronnie McLean continued the momentum with a burst from the 22 and Phil Chesters put a thumping hit in on his opposite number Andrew Wright, but it was Esher who scored next when fullback Ali Chisholm marked his debut by cutting through Ealing Trailfinders’ defence to close the score to 7-5.
The visitors began to work their way back into the match and once again it was through their forward pack, who mauled their opponents deep into their territory to set up good field position.
Esher’s defence stood strong then and eventually they were able to clear the danger, but when they went on the attack twice they were let down by knock ons and flyhalf Steve Boatman pushed a penalty wide that would have put the hosts into the lead.
The visitors ended the first half on the attack though and Chris Kinloch nearly got away when he kicked and chased to force a lineout close to Esher’s line. However, Esher again held out and their scrumhalf Robbie Shaw cleared the ball to end the half.
The second half began as it finished with Ealing Trailfinders’ pack quickly establishing the upper hand at the scrum and soon after Jarvis put the visitors into double points with a well-struck penalty from in front of the posts.
Club captain Tom Brown made a return to action from injury early in the second half and immediately made his presence felt with a juddering charge into the Esher defence that put Ealing Trailfinders firmly on the front foot.
Jarvis pulled two penalties wide, but Esher went down to 14 men when loose-head prop Dave Millard was penalised for standing up in the scrum. While he was off Ealing Trailfinders scored five more points when Pape grabbed his second in two matches from a rolling maul.
The third try came from a similar route after a clever grubber kick by Alex Walker forced Esher fullback into a sliced clearance that gave the visitors a lineout on their line. Brown took the catch and once more Ellis controlled the ball at the back of the maul before scoring.
Ali Chisholm, Andrew Wright, Oliver Richards, Tom Bedford, Spencer Sutherland, Stephen Boatman, Robbie Shaw; David Millard, Neil Sweeney, Cameron Zeiss, Oli Curry, Ian Kench, Cameron Gentiles, Harrison Collins, Brandon Walker
David Simmons, Oli Mines, Jo Gardner, Tom Cheeseman, Mickey Wilson
Matt Jarvis, Chris Kinloch, Sam Wardingley, Ronnie McLean, Phil Chesters, Ben Ward, Alex Walker; Jamie Kilbane, Alun Walker, Nathan Buck, Carwyn Jones, Llewelyn Jones, Red Pennycock, Arthur Ellis, Danny Kenny (captain)
Andrei Radoi, Will Davis, Steve Pape, Tom Brown, James Love
Tries (Chisholm 12)
Tries (Ellis 5, 74, Pape 56), Conversions (Jarvis 6, Love 74), Penalties (Jarvis 44)
Referee – Phillip Davies