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Ampthill 12 - 15 Ealing Trailfinders 1871 U23s
Date: 08-02-2020 14:30
Type: Match
Section: Adults

LocationDillingham Park
Pitch TypeGrass
CompetitionRaging Bull Div 2
CaptainLiam McDonagh
Vice CaptainLewis Steadman
CoachesMark Percival, Tom Gamage
Team ManagerVittorio Spadavecchia
Press Attaché
TravelAll going on bus. Meet 10.20 at the club. On time please
Team MeetingChanging room 12:30
Team RotaPost-match duties players 5 - 8
Dress code post-matchGrey Ealing Polo

If Friday or later cry-off then message or phone Ricky immediately 07956 442502

Team Selection

1 Tim Hitchcock
2 Liam McDonagh
3 Andrew Barton
4 Josh Goddard
5 Nyall Wake
6 Lewis Perkins
7 Matt Donnelly
8 Oscar Avis
9 Euan Jones
10 Callum Nolan-Hutchison
11 Daniel Crabtree
12 Manuel Viviani
13 Forgotten
14 Kavan Fitzpatrick
15 Lewis Steadman


16 Evan Poole
17 Matthew Speight
18 Felix Saladin Cross
19 Jacob Pepper

For the second week running the U23s travelled to take on strong opposition from the top half of the Raging Bull Shield Division 2 and came away with a narrow but deserved victory, continuing a run of vastly improved performances.

With Storm Ciara brewing but not due to arrive for another few hours, the game was played in bright sunshine with a fairly strong breeze blowing straight down the hill-top pitch in Ampthill’s favour in the first half. Arriving fresh and in good time by coach, the U23s were well prepared before kick-off and avoided the immediate reverses they had suffered the previous week at Henley. A sustained attack based on pick-and-goes by the forwards looked likely to yield the first score of the afternoon but eventually the ball was lost and a huge clearance kick aided by the wind pushed Ealing back into their own half. Ampthill then nearly broke loose only to be halted by a thumping tackle by flanker Matt Donnelly. A penalty kick for an illegal tackle by Ampthill was collected and run back by the home side, and slick passing led to an uncoverted try on the right wing. Stout defence by two well-matched teams meant that there was no further score until the half-hour mark, when pick-and-goes, a probing run by full back Lewis Steadman and further pounding of the line by the forwards eventually enabled second row Nyall Wake to touch down from short range, the conversion attempt missing narrowly. The first half drew to a close with a wince-inducing tackle by debutant wing Dan Crabtree and with the score tied at 5-5.

Ampthill began the second period brightly, but resolute Ealing tackling and good organisation kept them at bay until the defence was finally breached with a converted try. In a match-defining moment on 54 minutes an intended Ampthill scoring pass lobbed towards the wing was intercepted by centre Forgotten, who put on the afterburners to make a 70 metre break and had the presence of mind before being tackled to offload to Steadman, who finished under the sticks to give fly half Callum Nolan-Hutchinson an easy conversion. Ealing had the majority of the territory as the game headed into its final 10 minutes, and when back-chat by the Ampthill captain persuaded the referee to move a penalty award 10 metres further forward it became an easy but crucial 3 points from the boot of Nolan-Hutchinson. The Ealing pack became increasingly dominant in the set pieces as the game drew to a close, restricting the home team to very rare opportunities to make up the 3 point difference, and when the final whistle blew Ealing were camped close to the opposition try line.

Man of the match was debutant Felix Saladin-Crosse.

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