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Saracens Amateurs 17 - 17 Ealing Trailfinders 1871 1sts
Date: 22-01-2022 15:00
Type: Match
Section: Adults

LocationBramley Sports Ground
CompetitionHerts & Middlesex 1
CaptainLiam McDonagh
Vice CaptainLewis Steadman
CoachesMark Percival, Tom Gamage
Team ManagerRicky Spadavecchia 07956 442502
PhysioMatt Knights
Press AttachéRob Williams
Touch JudgeKyle Beck
TravelAll to go direct
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 9 - 12
Dress code post-matchShirt and Ealing tie

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 Ian Kilcoyne
6 Toby Holt
7 Euan Jones
8 Chris Joyce
9 Etienne Kille
10 Callum Nolan-Hutchison
11 Ben Pink
12 Josh Steadman
13 Max Muirhead
14 Luca Townshend
15 Lewis Steadman


16 Andrea Costa
17 Fabio Krasniqi
18 Ben Parkinson

1871 earn late draw with penalty try

A game that was unpredictable throughout and looked likely to be won by the side that made fewer mistakes was ultimately decided by crucial decisions in a pulsating final quarter of an hour.

Ealing began strongly, disrupting Saracens possession from the kick-off and shunting their opponents back at the first scrum, an early sign of dominance in that area that would prove to be a feature of the game. For the next 10 minutes the game ebbed and flowed, with Saracens closing down the dangerous Ealing back line, before the home team opened the scoring wide on the left wing with a follow-up attack after initially being repelled following an Ealing clearance that went straight into touch. Slightly against the run of play, Saracens doubled their lead shortly before the break when hooker Andrew Bullmore finished well from a clean penalty line-out catch-and drive. Ealing came back strongly, and were awarded a penalty deep in Sarries territory. Captain Liam McDonagh understandably took the scrum option in view of his team’s complete dominance in the set pieces rather than the kick to touch, but the visitors were adjudged to have dropped the scrum illegally.

1871 began the second period looking for early points to claw back some of the ten-point deficit and came close when replacement flanker Andrea Costa took a quick penalty and was held up just short of the line. The Ealing pack was penalised at another penalty scrum, and soon afterwards lost a crucial line-out following yet another penalty. Ealing continued to pressure the Saracens line, but the home defence was consistently up quickly in the tackle when the visitors looked to unleash their back line. When another penalty award came with just over a quarter of the game remaining, captain McDonagh asked fly half Callum Nolan-Hutchinson to put points on the board from 40 metres, and a finely judged kick dropped perfectly over the crossbar. Soon afterwards Costa popped up to create an overlap on the right wing and seemed to spectators close to the action to have successfully grounded the ball, but the unsighted referee agreed with the claims of the Saracens defenders that no downward pressure had been applied. Powerful runs by No 8 Chris Joyce kept Ealing moving forward, and McDonagh touched down close to the posts to give Nolan-Hutchinson a simple conversion to tie the score at 10-10.

With 13 minutes remaining, Saracens lost a prop to a yellow card, resulting in 10 minutes of uncontested scrums. A man down but benefiting from tidy scrum ball for the first time in the match, the home side broke away and after initially being held up just short squeezed over in the right-hand corner for a well-converted try. In a final dramatic twist, with Sarries back to full numbers and a couple of minutes left on the clock, contested scrums were restored when Ealing were awarded a penalty close to the try line and opted to deploy their main weapon. The set piece started heading inexorably towards the line, causing the Saracens pack to wheel deliberately in a desperate attempt to prevent the inevitable, which left the referee with no option but to award a penalty try. The final whistle followed, and the two teams sitting fourth and fifth in the league emerged from a pulsating encounter with two points each for a draw.

Next Saturday brings runaway league leaders London Scottish Lions to Vallis Way for what promises to be a fascinating battle.

Event Photos 24
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