Ealing Amateurs scored five unanswered tries in a dominant second-half performance to come away with an ultimately handsome victory away to Sutton and Epsom’s second string.
With two high-scoring wins behind them, Ealing found themselves up against a well organised defence in the opening exchanges and were matched in the set pieces by a determined home pack. After 10 minutes of parity it took a moment of skill by outside centre Cariern Clement-Pascall, in his second game for the club, to break the deadlock, wrong-footing his opposite number and accelerating away to the line. However, within two minutes Sutton and Epsom mounted sustained pressure following a charge-down, and a forward eventually burrowed over, leaving the game poised at 5-5. Mid-way through the half Ealing drove the ball on after a clean line-out take, Sutton were powerless to stop the drive, and hooker Stuart Miller touched down for his fourth try in four games. Goal kicking proved a problem for both teams on a breezy day, and Sutton missed the chance to reduce the deficit with a penalty attempt from the 22 metre line.
As the first half drew to a close there was still little to choose between the two sides, with Ealing the more enterprising but well marshalled by the home defence and guilty of repeatedly losing the ball on contact. A period of pressure as the whistle approached failed to yield a try, and Ealing took the option to go for the posts with a penalty stroked over by flanker Mike Whitney, to enter the break with a psychologically significant two-score lead at 13-5.
The second half started in the same vein, but the Ealing forwards gradually started asserting their authority with direct running and quick recycling. A powerful set scrum put Sutton and Epsom on the back foot, creating space for Pascal Baptiste to run in on the right wing. The home defence was visibly beginning to tire as Ealing secured a steady flow of clean possession from scrum and line-out, and four further tries followed in a period of ten minutes. First inside centre Johnny Murphy jinked his way across the line to secure the four-try bonus point, then second row Sean Kennett powered over from short range and within a couple of minutes Clement-Pascall wrong-footed his opposite number again and turned on the gas to score under the posts. With ten minutes left Baptiste almost broke clear but was half-tackled, and the loose ball was picked up by Clement-Pascall, who sped away for his hat-trick try. The last two touch-downs were both converted by fly-half Alex Gillespie.
This Saturday the Amateurs will be hoping to continue their emphatic start to the season when they visit London Cornish. Amateurs 2nds are away to Old Streetonians in MMT2 whilst the Exiles have a home fixture against local rivals Northolt in MMT4.
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