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Ealing Trailfinders 1871 1sts 52 - 7 Verulamians
Date: 02-10-2021 15:00
Type: Match
Section: Adults

LocationVallis Way
Pitch Type4G
CompetitionHerts & Middlesex 1
CaptainLiam McDonagh
Vice CaptainLewis Steadman
CoachesMark Percival, Tom Gamage
Team ManagerRicky Spadavecchia 07956 442502, Matt Jones
PhysioMatt Knights
Press AttachéRob Williams
HostsDick Craig, Paul Clarke, Rob Williams
TravelHome game
Team MeetingChanging room 13:15. £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-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 Pat Nash
4 Nyall Wake
5 Spencer Hills
6 George Reed
7 Andrea Costa
8 David Niven
9 Kyle Beck
10 Harrison Slater
11 Ben Pink
12 Josh Steadman
13 Ben Parkinson
14 Toby Holt
15 Lewis Steadman


16 Oscar Avis
17 Callum Nolan-Hutchinson
18 Kavan Fitzpatrick

Eighteen months after COVID brought an abrupt end to Ealing 1871's first, promotion-winning season of league rugby, followed by lockdowns and restrictions, a team featuring several new faces defied atrocious conditions to run in eight tries, with six converted, against a Verulamians side who were competitive throughout.

Before kick-off, the three home teams plus guests Verulamians, London New Zealand and Bank of England marked a minute's silence on the first full league day since the tragic death of Ealing player Haseen Hashim in June last year.

The visitors' preparations were disrupted by a couple of late arrivals, no doubt due to traffic problems associated with the ongoing fuel crisis, but began well with little to choose between the sides in the opening 5 minutes. However, with speed of thought that continued to be a notable feature of Ealing's performance, scrum half Kyle Beck spotted a gap and sent a well-weighted kick towards the left-hand corner. The last defender failed to gather the awkwardly bouncing ball and Beck collected his own kick to sprint over for a fine try. With the advantage of the wind and driving rain in the first half, 1871 began to dominate, and a powerful scrum after 15 minutes set up inside centre Josh Steadman, who accelerated past the defence to finish under the posts for a try converted by fly half Harrison Slater. Five minutes later prop Tim Hitchcock barged over from close quarters before Verulaminans enjoyed a period of possession that failed to produce a score thanks to well organised defence. Slightly against the run of play, Ealing notched their fourth and bonus point-winning try through former Under-18s wing Ben Pink, seizing on the loose ball to score near the posts after Josh Steadman had put the last defender under pressure following a long raking kick down the right.

Turning around the for second half 26 points to the good, Ealing conceded a try under the posts immediately after full back Lewis Steadman had been yellow-carded. For a period the home side continued to be penalised as the rain lashed down, and there was little sign of the all-round dominance that marked the first period. Eventually, however, a penalty in an attacking position was taken quickly by Hitchcock and the ball reached recent recruit outside centre Ben Parkinson, who capped a fine all-round performance by skipping over the line for a try converted by Callum Nolan-Hutchinson, on as a replacement for Slater. With 55 minutes on the clock, 1871 were awarded a penalty after being camped on the Verulamians try line. Beck, alert to the options available, took a quick tap and fed Hitchcock for his second close-quarters try of the day. Ealing's superior fitness and physicality meant that the visitors from St Albans were wilting as the final whistle approached. Yet another quickly taken penalty led to a try in the left-hand corner for Toby Holt, and finally the forwards powered over with captain Liam McDonagh touching down at the bottom of the heap.

Sterner tests await in H&M1, with local rivals Wasps due at Vallis Way in two weeks' time, but this eight-try victory will offer great encouragement for the rest of the campaign.

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