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Ealing Trailfinders 1871 1sts 34 - 34 Wasps
Date: 16-10-2021 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, Jon Haigh
PhysioMillie Wilson
Touch JudgeSteve Weekes
HostsDick Craig, Paul Clarke, Steve Weekes, Rob Williams
TravelHome game
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 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 Will Rynsard
2 Liam McDonagh
3 Pat Nash
4 Nyall Wake
5 Matt Donnelly
6 Kenenna Chukwuma
7 Andrea Costa
8 David Niven
9 Kyle Beck
10 Harrison Slater
11 Toby Holt
12 Josh Steadman
13 Lewis Steadman
14 Ben Pink
15 Aidan FitzGerald


16 Tim Hitchcock
17 Lucas Brathwaite
18 Callum Nolan-Hutchinson

A return to 'real' and meaningful league rugby after several Read4Rugby encounters between the two teams over the past year produced a thrilling contest that ended all-square with three league points each, after a pulsating last ten minutes.

Ealing started strongly, forcing a 22 metre dropout, which was collected by flanker Kenenna Chukwuma, back in the green and white for the first time since the curtailed 2019-20 season. He drove at the defence, the ball was moved quickly to the right, and inside centre Josh Steadman crossed for a try converted by Harrison Slater. With 7 minutes gone, Slater slotted a penalty for offside, putting Ealing into what looked a healthy 10-0 lead. Wasps, fielding a heavy pack, came back into the game and after probing the 1871 try line eventually found space to reduce the deficit, the conversion attempt from half-way to the touch line failing. With a quarter of the game gone, another Slater penalty increased the lead to 13-5, Wasps failing to reciprocate when awarded a kickable penalty soon afterwards. The home side applied strong forward pressure, leading to the award of a succession of penalties, but a malfunctioning line out resulted in possession and territory being ceded. With the half-time break approaching, Ealing lost 2nd row Nyall Wake to a head injury, and shortly afterwards conceded a second try, scored by the Wasps tight-head prop peeling off from a clean line-out take. The visitors drew level with a third unconverted try as Ealing went down to 14 men with a yellow card.

Wasps enjoyed a period of ascendancy, helped by clean line-out possession, but 1871 won turnover ball through replacement scrum half Lucas Brathwaite, and the alert Josh Steadman picked up to scamper over under the sticks for a try converted by Callum Nolan-Hutchinson, who had taken over as fly half and place kicker. Chukwuma came off after a good shift, with Will Rynsard, making his league debut, moving from prop to flanker. Two penaties kicked to touch took Wasps deep into 1871 territory, eventually leading to an unconverted try in the corner, Ealing suffered a further blow with a second yellow card, followed by another. Down to 13 men for a time, Ealing were under the cosh and soon found themselves behind for the first time in the game, with Wasps finally nailing a conversion before outside centre Lewis Steadman scored Ealing's third to tie the score at 27-27. A frantic last five minutes saw Wasps re-take the lead with a converted try wide on the right. Returning to the attack, 1871 needed a fourth try and conversion to snatch a draw and pick up three league points. Awarded a succession of penalties close to the visitors' line, they sensibly opted for reliable possession from scrums rather than taking the risk of kicks and line outs, and deep into time added on the decision was justified with the ball passed at pace out to Ben Pink on the left wing, who finished wih aplomb. The four-try bonus point was secured, but to cancel out the 2-point deficit, Nolan-Hutchinson needed to convert from close to the touch line. To the delight of his team mates and Ealing's vocal supporters, the kick was perfectly directed and weighted. Superior kicking by Slater and Nolan-Hutchinson had enabled 1871 to tie the contest despite being outscored by six tries to four.

Other results confirmed that Herts & Middlesex 1 poses far sterner challenges than H&M2, which Ealing won at a canter in the 2019-20 season. They played well in patches but became a little ragged for periods of the game, and will need to maintain consistency for the full 80 minutes when Saracens Amateurs are the next visitors to Vallis Way.

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