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Woodbridge Warriors 15 - 27 Ealing Trailfinders 1871 1sts
Date: 22-04-2023 15:00
Type: Match
Section: Adults

CompetitionPapa Johns Community Counties 2 South Plate Quarter-final
RegulationsPapa John Regulations
LocationSee "Related Records & Places"
CaptainLewis Steadman
Vice CaptainWill Day
CoachesMark Percival, Eddie Beck
Team ManagerRicky Spadavecchia 07956 442502
PhysioErik Gee
Press AttachéRob Williams
Veo CameraPaul Clarke
Transport10:30 meet at the club, depature prompt at 10:45.
Match Day
13.30 Arrival Changing Room
13.45 Kickers & Throwers
14.00 Team Meeting in changing room
14.20 All Players On Pitch, Primers, Units, Fortress
14.50 Hits on Shields
14.52 Back Into The Changing Room
£5 fine into team kitty for late arrival. Message or phone team manager if running late.
Team RotaPost-match duties players: Players bench
Dress code pre-matchEaling logo grey polo
Dress code post-matchEaling logo shirt and tie

Team Selection

1 Tim Hitchcock
2 Luke Parry
3 Dan O'Mahony
4 Aidan Jones
5 Nyall Wake
6 Ian Kilcoyne
7 Will Day
8 Gereint Price
9 Kyle Beck
10 Harrison Slater
11 Kavan Fitzpatrick
12 Lewis Steadman
13 Mir Afzaal Ijaz
14 Louis Aitcheson-Walker
15 Josh Steadman


16 Harry Vidler
17 Eddie Beck
18 Joe Kelly
19 Sunny Gujadhur

The long two and a half hour coach hour trip to Woodbridge, just a few miles inland from the Suffolk coast, proved worthwhile  for Ealing Trailfinders 1871, who emerged with victory from a keenly contested Papa John’s Community Cup Counties 2 South Plate quarter-final. Remarkably, of the seven potential opponents for Woodbridge when the draw was made, Ealing were easily the nearest at 105 miles.

Despite arriving with plenty of time for preparation and warm-up, Ealing started a little slowly, and Woodbridge might have taken an early lead if they had taken the opportunity to put three points on the board with two early penalties instead of kicking for an attacking line-out. The early pressure was relieved when debutant Aidan Jones hacked a loose ball 40 metres upfield and was quickly up in pursuit to force the ball into touch. Ealing began to achieve some dominance in the set scrum but found it difficult to break through the home defence, with the result that there was no score with a quarter of the game gone. Ealing eventually achieved a breakthrough on 21 minutes when they opted for a scrum when awarded a penalty. A clear nudge gave scrum half Kyle Beck space to draw the defence and put right wing Louis Walker in for the opening score. Harrison Slater, starting at 10, narrowly missed the conversion from the touchline. Having broken the deadlock, 1871 looked likely to extend their lead, but the Woodbridge left wing intercepted, and despite being hauled down short of the line by full back Josh Steadman was able to offload and receive the ball back from a supporting team-mate to finish under the posts. The visitors responded well, with the dominant forwards forcing a penalty deep in Woodbridge territory, which was taken quickly. A powerful drive to the line was finished by prop Dan O’Mahony, who in scoring his first try of the season exacerbated a long-standing shoulder injury but was able to complete the match. Harry Vidler, on for Affi Mir, whose departure led to Slater moving to centre, took over kicking duties and added the two points to put Ealing 12-7 up.

With 18-year-old Joe Kelly on for his debut appearance for the Ealing 1871 1st XV to replace Gereint Price (appearing alongside Dove ad co-star Kavan Fitzpatrick) following a shoulder injury, Ealing continued to have the edge up front, and when a driven maul seemingly destined to reach the try line was illegally dropped by the home forwards the referee awarded a penalty try. At half-time 1871 looked well placed at 19-7, owing their lead to outstanding defence organisation and tackling as much as to forward dominance.

Playing towards the pig-field end in the second half in gloomy conditions after the sunshine that had prevailed throughout the first period, Ealing continued to dominate proceedings but were kept at bay by a strong home defence, with no clear breaks by either side in the first 10 minutes after the break. Woodbridge came into the game more but, aware that the Ealing defence was proving difficult to penetrate, took the three points on offer when awarded a penalty within kicking distance. With a quarter of an hour remaining the game opened up as bodies tired, and the visitors came close to extending their lead when the Steadman brothers combined to take play close to the Woodbridge try line. Jones, enjoying an outstanding debut along with the indefatigable and aggressive Kelly, was hauled down just short of the line, but his pass out of the tackle went to ground.  Soon afterwards outstanding scrummaging technique forced an Ealing penalty at a Woodbridge put-in, and Vidler added three points to extend the lead to a healthy-looking 22-10.

With plenty of time due to be added on in an injury-strewn game, Woodbridge looked to have reduced the deficit with a try on the right wing, but the referee adjusted the final pass to have been forward, which video evidence later showed to have been the correct decision. However, on 79 minutes the hosts did reduce the deficit, again on the right wing, with a kick ahead and collect. With the difficult conversion missed, Ealing were 22-15 ahead, meaning that a converted try by Woodbridge would force the tie into extra time. Deep into time added on, and roared on by an enthusiastic crowd, the hosts had an attacking line out but lost possession with a poor throw, the Ealing backs counter-attacked down the right and Walker finished in the corner for his second of the day, putting a gloss on the score in a well-contested game that was thoroughly enjoyed by the spectators.

Thanks are due to Woodbridge for being excellent hosts, supplying jugs of beer at the final whistle and wishing 1871 success in the remaining two rounds of the cup.

Summing up the game, Ealing captain Lewis Steadman said: ‘Not our slickest performance of the season today as we struggled to get our attacking game going. But we can take pride in the resolute defence we displayed to always keep the opposition at arm’s length. Onto the semi-final!’

The draw made on Saturday evening gives Ealing 1871 an away tie against Chipstead, who finished second in the Counties 2 Surrey league behind runaway winners Teddington and came away from Hampshire’s Ellingham and Ringwood with a 16-13 win in the quarter final.

21:00Louis Aitcheson-WalkerTry0 - 5
25:00Woodbridge WarriorsTry5 - 5
26:00Woodbridge WarriorsConversion7 - 5
30:00Dan O'MahonyTry7 - 10
31:00Harry VidlerConversion7 - 12
38:00Ealing 1871Penalty Try7 - 19
55:00Woodbridge WarriorsPenalty10 - 19
71:00Harry VidlerPenalty10 - 22
79:00Woodbridge WarriorsTry15 - 22
88:00Louis Aitcheson-WalkerTry15 - 29
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