Match Report: Ealing Trailfinders 35 v 24 1st XV, 14/01/23

“A much improved performance” was the summary of Head Coach Paul Turner as the 1st XV came away from Champions Ealing Trailfinders with a try bonus point after a 35 v 24 defeat!

Ampthill chose to kick-off into the wind and weathered the early exchanges. A succession of Ealing penalties gave Ampthill territory and possession and they scored from their first attacking position – a line out on 5m, collected by Boon and number eight Morgan Strong scored from the resulting maul. Tom Hardwick added the extras and Ampthill lead 0 v 7 after 10 minutes!

The early score woke up our hosts but the Ampthill defence was determined! However, a 20th minute penalty gave Ealing the platform for their first try – the ball worked inside and Holmes broke the line to score under the posts, 7 v 7

A yellow card for the Ealing prop gave the A’s a man advantage and Ampthill punished their hosts taking the lead with a carbon copy of their first try, and a second for Strong. This time Hardwick pulled his kick wide but the A’s lead 7 v 12.

Ealing were putting the visitors under pressure but the defence held firm until the stroke of half time when after successive scrum penalties the referee awarded a penalty try! 14 v 12

3 minutes into the second half Ampthill took the lead for the third time – with the hosts working phases in the visitors half, Conor Rankin intercepted a pass and ran two thirds of the pitch to score wide right. Conversion missed but a 14 v 17 lead.

Again Ealing exerted pressure on the Ampthill defence and another penalty presented the platform for them to regain the lead – penalty kicked to the corner and their hooker going around the maul to score. Another successful conversion 21 v 17

Ealing extended their lead on 56 minutes – Tizzano breaking through the middle and the supporting player scoring under the posts despite appeals for a knock on. 28 v 17

Ampthill weren’t given up on getting something from the game and on 66 minutes got their bonus point – another penalty and line out/maul pulled the defenders in, and the ball popped wide to Harris who beat his man to score in the corner. Hardwick again added the extras 28 v 24

A yellow card for Tom Hardwick gave Ealing a man advantage for the final ten minutes and Ealing were awarded a second penalty try that proved to be the final and decisive score of the game. 35 v 24

Following the game, Head Coach Paul Turner said “We showed a lot of character. The players have worked really hard since the Christmas break. Our lineout worked alot better and I thought we played the conditions well in the first half. We still have things to work on but it was much improved performance and I’m proud of our players performance today” 

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