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Saracens Amateurs 23 - 22 Ealing Trailfinders 1871 1sts
Date: 05-11-2022 15:00
Type: Match
Section: Adults

CompetitionCounties 2 H&M
RegulationsRFU Regulation 7 Adult Competitions
LocationBramley Sports Ground
CaptainLewis Steadman
Vice CaptainMatt Donnelly
CoachesMark Percival
Team ManagerRicky Spadavecchia 07956 442502, John Ronane
PhysioErik Gee
Press AttachéRob Williams
Veo CameraPaul Clarke
TransportMeet at opposition ground
Team MeetingChanging room 13:30. £5 fine into team kitty for late arrival. Message or phone team manager if running late.
Team RotaPost-match duties players: 1 - 4
Dress code post-matchEaling logo grey polo

Team Selection

1 Tim Hitchcock
2 Luke Parry
3 Pat Nash
4 Luke Beasley
5 Matt Donnelly
6 Jason Dissanayake
7 Toby Holt
8 Will Day
9 Harrison Slater
10 Harry Vidler
11 Ben Pink
12 Josh Steadman
13 Charlie Nolan
14 Louis Aitcheson-Walker
15 Lewis Steadman


16 Dan O'Mahony
17 Gereint Price
18 Danny O'Sullivan

An uncharacteristically lacklustre second half and a string of injuries left Ealing Trailfinders 1871 a single point adrift at the end of a keenly contested battle between two of the four promotion candidates, a first taste of defeat after nine straight victories.

With just one loss heading into the game, Saracens Amateurs, as they were at Level 9 last season, are key rivals at the top of the Counties 2 Herts & Middlesex table, along with London Scottish and Cheshunt. The early exchanges on a grass pitch that played surprisingly well after several days of heavy rain gave a clear indication of the close contest to come. After Ealing had been on the defence for a period the forwards drove up the centre of the pitch, the ball was spun along the back line and full back Lewis Steadman evaded attempted tackles to score under the posts with 11 minutes gone, giving Harry Vidler a straightforward conversion. A few minutes later Saracens built up momentum, moved within kicking range through two successive penalties, and when awarded a third put their first points on the scoreboard. Loose-head prop Tim Hitchcock retired from the field with a shoulder injury, to be replaced by Dan O’Mahony. With 26 minutes gone fly-half Vidler sent a teasing kick down the left-hand touch line from deep in his own half. Wing Ben Pink harried the catcher, whose wild pass was intercepted by inside centre Josh Steadman, who touched down under the posts, giving Ealing a comfortable-looking lead of 14-3 with the conversion. A period dominated by tactical kicking by both teams followed until Ealing were awarded a penalty within kicking range. Vidler’s attempt from the left side of the posts missed, and the last score of the half instead went to Saracens, whose second penalty brought the half-time score to 14-6.

A drop-off in intensity at the start of the second period was punished by two crucial tries for the home side. From a lineout following an 1871 relieving kick under pressure, the Saracens No 8 made a break and fed the outside centre, who just made it to the line, putting the home side within a point with the successful conversion. A second try by the Saracens No 4 created by a good offload in the tackle was not converted, but for the first time this season 1871 found themselves points down at 18-14. To add to the downturn in fortunes, captain Lewis Steadman had to leave the field with concussion. Sarries had an opportunity to extend their lead on 55 minutes with a penalty for a high tackle, but the attempt fell short. With 10 minutes remaining, flanker Toby Holt was shown yellow for another high tackle, and the loss of a man was compounded by a third Saracens try on the left wing, putting them two scores ahead. A Vidler penalty for offside in the Sarries back line brought 1871 back within range of snatching victory, and with 4 minutes remaining Josh Steadman scored a fine individual try, jinking his way through the midfield defence and changing angle when his options appeared to have closed down, to finish wide on the right. The conversion from a difficult angle would have put Ealing one point ahead, but the ball sailed just to the right of the uprights. Astutely employing pick-and-goes, Saracens safely saw out the remaining minutes to cling onto victory and deny Ealing anything more than a losing bonus point.

The last game in the first round of fixtures on Saturday 12 November sees a home fixture against Cheshunt, who remain unbeaten after eight games. Important league points are at stake in the next three weeks with Saracens yet to face both London Scottish and Cheshunt.

11:00Lewis SteadmanTry0 - 5
12:00Harry VidlerConversion0 - 7
19:00SaracensPenalty3 - 7
26:00Josh SteadmanTry3 - 12
27:00Harry VidlerConversion3 - 14
35:00SaracensPenalty6 - 14
42:00SaracensTry11 - 14
43:00SaracensConversion13 - 14
50:00SaracensTry18 - 14
70:00Toby HoltYellow Card
72:00SaracensTry23 - 14
75:00Harry VidlerPenalty23 - 17
78:00Josh SteadmanTry23 - 22
Event Photos 11
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