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Ealing Trailfinders 1871 1sts 36 - 18 Thamesians
Date: 04-12-2021 13:00
Type: Match
Section: Adults

LocationVallis Way
CompetitionHerts & Middlesex 1
CaptainLewis Steadman
Vice CaptainChris Joyce
CoachesMark Percival, Tom Gamage
Team ManagerVittorio Spadavecchia
PhysioMatt Knights
Press AttachéRob Williams
Touch JudgeKyle Beck
Team MeetingChanging room 11:30. £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 Chris Joyce
2 Evan Poole
3 Leighton Price
4 Alex Miller
5 Nyall Wake
6 Harvey Paull
7 Andrea Costa
8 David Niven
9 Harrison Slater
10 Lewis Steadman
11 Kavan Fitzpatrick
12 Josh Steadman
13 Luca Townshend
14 Matt Lacour
15 Ben Parkinson


16 Fabio Krasniqi
17 Euan Jones
18 Matt Knights

1871 Return to winning ways in a game of two pitches

Bonus-point win keeps up pressure on league rivals

Ealing 1871 recovered from a nightmare start to score five tries and keep in touch with the other contenders for honours in the highly competitive Herts & Middlesex 1. Early in the game, a kick carried deep into Thamesians territory by the strong wind on a bright but cold December day was collected and the ball was safely dispatched into touch. Ealing took a quick throw-in, but the ball went straight to a Thamesians player and in the blink of an eye the visitors had exploited the out of position 1871 defence to take a 7-0 lead. Buoyed by this early advantage, Twickenham Green-based Thamesians soon forced a penalty in a kickable position to move 10 points ahead. Fortunately, Ealing did not panic despite these early setbacks and started to put together some smooth passing involving both backs and forwards, and eventually forced the visitors to concede a penalty converted by Harrison Slater. With a quarter of the game gone, Slater kicked to touch deep in Thamesians territory, the visitors' line-out put-in was stolen, and Slater, attacking down the blind side, drew the last defender before delivering a scoring pass to wing Kavan Fitzpatrick, who finished under the posts to make the conversion a formality. Two minutes later, 1871 moved into the lead with a typical side-stepping run by inside centre Josh Steadman. A period of Thamesians territorial advantage resulted in a second penalty to reduce the Ealing advantage to 17-13. No further score followed before the break, despite a valiant attempt by Josh Steadman to latch onto a crafty kick-ahead by full back Roberto Rutolini before it passed the dead-ball line. Just before the break Ealing eschewed the chance of 3 points or an attacking line-out by opting for a penalty scrum but were penalised for an early push, and then lost their own line-out close to the try line from another penalty.

With Euan Jones making a welcome return at scrum half at the beginning of the second period after a long injury layoff and injecting pace and urgency, Ealing showed attacking intent by opting to run rather than kick from deep, and Lewis Steadman, having moved from fly half to full back, took a direct route to the try line for his team's third of the day. With 23 minutes of the game still to go, a Thamesians player suffered a worrying neck injury, resulting in an immediate call for an ambulance. With safety paramount, the player was kept immobile and warm with Ealing physio Matt Knights in attendance, and a decision was made to play out the remainder of the game on a grass pitch.

Ealing soon wrapped up the game and gathered a crucial extra league point for a fourth try. The forwards won a scrum against the head, and although possession was soon lost, another attack from deep after the ensuing kick downwind led to Josh Steadman touching down after his brother Lewis had covered half the length of the field with a powerful, straight run. A momentary drop in intensity enabled Thamesians to reduce the deficit to 31-18, before the game finished with a fourth Steadman try of the day, this one by Lewis in the left-hand corner.

Ealing man of the match was the versatile Harvey Paull, on this occasion playing at flanker. An away game on 11 December at local rivals Actonians on what is likely to be a heavy pitch after recent rain will bring down the curtain on the first round of fixtures, and a massive effort in terms of preparation, availability and performance will be needed to chase down the other top four teams in the league, London Scottish, Wasps, Barnet and Saracens, in 2022.

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