Finsbury Park withdrew from the RFU leagues at the start of December 2022 so all of their results this season are declared void.
|Counties 2 H&M
|Twyford Avenue Sports Ground (Home Fixture)
|Ricky Spadavecchia 07956 442502
|Meet at Twyford Avenue ground
|Changing room 13:30. £5 fine into team kitty for late arrival. Message or phone team manager if running late.
|Post-match duties players: 5 - 8
|Dress code post-match
|Ealing logo grey polo
1 Dan O'Mahony
2 Luke Parry
3 TJ Robinson
4 Hugh Foley
5 Nyall Wake
6 David Niven
7 Toby Holt
8 William Day
9 Kyle Beck
10 Harrison Slater
11 Ben Pink
12 Josh Steadman
13 Jason Dissanayake
14 Louis Aitcheson-Walker
15 Lewis Steadman
16 Clayton Pochop
17 Liam McDonagh
18 Harry Vidler
1871 off to a flying start in Counties 2 H&M
With the major reorganisation of the league structure ahead of the 2022-23 season, Ealing 1871 have moved up a level to Counties 2 Herts and Middlesex, and made a statement of intent with nine tries in the season opener. Only three matches took place in the 12-team league, with some clubs, along with many others in London and South-East Division, accepting the RFU offer to postpone if they considered their pitches unplayable or themselves to be under-prepared due to exceptionally hard pitches following the drought and record temperatures in recent weeks. With London Scottish and Cheshunt battling to a 19-19 draw and Royston pipping Wasps 13-12, Ealing top the league after the first weekend.
In a game held on the 4G pitch at Wasps after the originally scheduled opponents Barnet Elizabethans declared themselves not ready to start the league season, 1871 instead took on Finsbury Park, who in the 2021-22 season had been playing a level higher in the old London 3 North-West. Featuring several established club members making their league debut and others new to the club, Ealing started with high intensity and notched their first score with just 2 minutes on the clock. Harrison Slater’s well-flighted kick off evaded the Finsbury Park forwards, and after several probes into the 22 the ball was swung right along the back line and then back to the left, where centre Jason Dissanayake touched down for an unconverted try. Just 4 minutes later a second try followed, with league debutant prop TJ Robinson going over close to the posts after several powerful forward drives, giving Slater an easy conversion. Finsbury Park then started to show some physicality themselves, and after 14 minutes worked an overlap on the left after Ealing had been penalised on their own 22. Four minutes later 1871 stretched the lead to 19-5 through Ben Pink on the left wing, put into space by Dissanayake. Slater, who was on good kicking form throughout the first half, bisected the posts with his conversion. Just before the half-hour mark Dissanayake split the defence with a burst of acceleration for a try again converted by Slater. Soon afterwards, a superb 50-22 kick by Slater that rolled into touch close to the Finsbury Park line eventually led to a try wide out on the right wing by Louis Walker, put into space by the Steadman brothers Josh and Lewis after repeated probing of the line by the forwards. Within a minute Walker doubled his tally with an easy run-in on the right, Slater notching his fifth conversion out of six attempts. The final score of an eventful first half went to Finsbury Park, converted to leave the score at the interval at 40-12.
Early in the second period, scrum half Kyle Beck spotted a gap and side-stepped his way to the try line, the conversion from wide out on the left narrowly missed by the returning Harry Vidler, a replacement for Slater at the break. A sustained attack with a series of pick-and-go’s eventually led to a try by hooker Luke Parry, finishing powerfully under the posts to make the score 52-12 with half an hour to go. A notable drop-off in intensity and a rising penalty count allowed Park to come back into the game, although a try conceded after 66 minutes was soon cancelled out by Pink’s second of the day, finishing under the posts. Finsbury Park then earned a four-try bonus point, and with Josh Steadman off the field with a yellow card, having been adjudged to have tackled man without ball, went on to score a fifth.
Overall, coach Mark Percival was well pleased with the performance and outcome, and nominated Parry, slightly ahead of second row Hugh Foley, as the stand-out forward and Beck, slightly ahead of Dissanayake, as the star performer in the backs.
Next Saturday, 10 September, Ealing 1871 return to the same pitch to play local rivals Wasps.
Tries: Dissanayake 2, Walker 2, Pink 2, Robinson, Beck, Parry
Conversions: Slater 5, Vidler 2
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