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Ealing Trailfinders 1871 1sts 28 - 27 London Scottish Lions
Date: 29-10-2022 15:00
Type: Match
Section: Adults

CompetitionCounties 2 H&M
RegulationsRFU Regulation 7 Adult Competitions
LocationTwyford Avenue
Pitch4G
CaptainLewis Steadman
Vice CaptainMatt Donnelly
CoachesMark Percival
Team ManagerRicky Spadavecchia 07956 442502
PhysioMatt Knights
RefereeDavid Stronge, Bandara Wekadapola (injury replacement)
Touch Judge"Colonel" Rod Heffernan
Press AttachéRob Williams
Veo CameraPaul Clarke
TransportMeet at Twyford Avenue
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: Bench
Dress code post-matchEaling logo grey polo

Team Selection

1 Dan O'Mahony
2 Luke Parry
3 Pat Nash
4 Jason Dissanayake
5 Matt Donnelly
6 Gereint Price
7 Toby Holt
8 Will Day
9 Kyle Beck
10 Harry Vidler
11 Ben Pink
12 Josh Steadman
13 Ben Parksinson
14 Louis Aitcheson-Walker
15 Lewis Steadman

Substitutes

16 Tim Hitchcock
17 Ian Kilcoyne
18 Harrison Slater

Ealing Trailfinders 1871 clung on to beat arch-rivals London Scottish 28-27 and extend their winning sequence to nine matches after a long second half in which Scottish clawed their way back from an 11-point deficit with minutes to go.

A game of 55 points, with 7 tries, 4 penalties, 4 successful conversions, 3 unsuccessful conversion attempts, 2 referees, 1 pre-match injury and a 53-minute second half produced high drama, massive effort by both teams and outstanding quality for this level. Ultimately it was the accurate boot of Ealing fly-half Harry Vidler, in a man-of-the-match performance, that proved the crucial factor in giving Ealing victory.

Referee David Stronge suffered a hamstring problem ahead of the game, and after treatment by Ealing physio Matt Knights, decided to start with replacement Bandara Wekadapola on standby. At the same time, Ealing lost outside centre Ben Parkinson to a warm-up injury, necessitating a switch of Lewis Steadman to 13 and Harrison Slater to full back. In exceptionally warm conditions for the end of October, conducive to running rugby, the two teams traded blows in the opening period, giving a clear indication that there would be little to separate the two teams after 80 minutes. Spurred on by a large and vociferous crowd, Ealing and Scottish shared territorial advantage until Ealing started to dominate around the quarter mark. A fine 50-22 by Slater set up an attacking line-out, which was lost, but soon afterwards 1871 regained possession and prolific scrum half Kyle Beck set off on a trademark run from the base of the scrum only to be held up just short of the line. Further attacks by both forwards and backs eventually yielded an Ealing penalty, which was converted by Vidler for a psychologically important 3-0 lead after 22 minutes.

With every turnover and penalty gained celebrated loudly by both teams, clear openings were hard to come by, although Ealing continued to enjoy a slight territorial edge and came close to increasing their lead when flanker Gereint Price stole a Scottish line out, Slater launched an attack, inside centre Josh Steadman set off on a strong run and a potential scoring pass out to the right wing went to ground. With the half-time whistle approaching from the replacement referee Bandara Wekadapola, who had taken after David Stronge had decided he was unable to continue, Ealing lost loose-head prop Dan O’Mahony, bringing a welcome return from injury for Tim Hitchcock. Soon afterwards, they moved up-field with a powerful run by Louis Walker down the left-hand touchline, and the attempted clearance kick by Scottish was charged down by the quick-thinking Josh Steadman, who was first to touch down over the line. Vidler converted from half-way out to give his team a satisfying 10-0 lead going into the break.

The crucial first try was followed by a second almost immediately from the restart. Hooker Luke Parry turned the ball over around the opposition 22 metre line, and Vidler timed his pass to Lewis Steadman to perfection, the Ealing captain finishing easily under the posts. Vidler added the extras to give his team a 17-0 lead. As the second half progressed, the Lions began to exert superiority in the set scrums and driven mauls. Ealing held firm under pressure at two penalty scrums close to their line, but at the third the Scottish inside centre made it to the line for a converted try on 49 minutes. Given the chance of 3 points to increase the gap after the Lions were penalised for a high tackle, Vidler obliged to put his team 20-7 ahead 2 minutes later. With a quarter of the game plus time added on remaining, Scottish moved within one score through their powerful forwards from a driven maul set up from a penalty line-out, well converted from wide out. With every score vital, Vidler had another opportunity to increase the lead when the Lions were penalised for pulling down at the line-out on 72 minutes. He nailed the kick from an awkward angle to stretch the advantage to two scores at 23-14. With 6 minutes left on the clock, the men in green and white might have thought they had done enough to come away from a clear victory, but the undaunted Scots won a kickable penalty and opted to take the points and bring themselves within six. As the game entered what was to prove an eventful and frantic period of time added on for injuries, Ealing opted for a penalty line-out, Josh Steadman punched a hole in the defence, the ball was swung out towards the left touch line and 2nd row Jason Dassanayake popped up to finish in the corner. Vidler’s kick was unsuccessful, but a lead of 28-17 looked fairly safe in view of the time played. Roared on by their supporters, Scottish moved within one score with a try 8 minutes into time added on. To the surprise of many, the referee informed the players that there were still 4 minutes to play, and when the Lions forwards scored again from a driven maul from a penalty line-out, the prospect of agonising defeat by a single point loomed with a conversion attempt from half-way out. To the massive relief of the 1871 players and supporters, the ball sailed wide of the posts, leaving Ealing with the narrowest of victories from a magnificent encounter played in excellent spirit by both teams. The final fourth try meant that Scottish emerged with two league points to Ealing’s four.

1871 can expect another titanic battle when they visit Scottish for the return game in January, and in the meantime have two more to play in the first round of fixtures, against the other top-four teams in Saracens Amateurs, who have lost just once, and unbeaten Cheshunt, who drew with London Scottish on the first Saturday of the season.


TimePlayerEventScore
0:22Harry VidlerPenalty3 - 0
0:40Josh SteadmanTry8 - 0
0:41Harry VidlerConversion10 - 0
0:42Lewis SteadmanTry15 - 0
0:43Harry VidlerConversion17 - 0
0:52Harry VidlerPenalty20 - 7
0:60London ScottishTry20 - 12
0:61London ScottishConversion20 - 14
0:72Harry VidlerPenalty23 - 14
0:74London ScottishPenalty23 - 17
0:80Jason DissanayakeTry28 - 17
0:88London ScottishTry28 - 22
0:92London ScottishTry28 - 27

Injuries
Matt Donnelly - Shoulder
Luke Parry - Eye
MotM
Louis Aitcheson-Walker
Nyall Wake

Penalty count
1871 1st XV - 8 (5 minutes, 33, 42, 44, 56, 56, 71, 78)
Barnet - 13

Event Photos 21
Events People 42

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Events Digital Assets 21

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