The 1st XV traveled to Ealing Trailfinders looking to avoid a repeat of last season’s 77 v 26 reverse.
The game kicked off in bright and blustery conditions – with four seasons in eighty minutes the weather would certainly do its best to affect the outcome.
It took Ealing less than four minutes to break the scoring deadline. A tap and go penalty with Ryan Smid going over. Willis making no mistake with the extras 7-0 Ealing
The early score from the hosts woke the A’s up and a period of sustained pressure followed in the hosts 22. Multiple cycles of kicking to the corner and an Ampthill lineout that was working well resisted by the Trailfinders, showing why they are favourites for the competition.
On 18 minutes those watching online may have thought Ampthill had scored but Lutui was held up. Further cycles of pressure from the A’s resisted by the hosts who eventually clear their lines with A’s just trying to hard to ‘force the phases’.
In the 26th minute Ealing demonstrated that they can kick to the corner too. Lineout won and drive to the line. Malton with the try. Conversion missed 12-0.
32 minutes and Ealing caught offside. A good kick by Bennett into the Ealing 22 and from the resulting line out and drive A’s awarded a second penalty. Following consultation with Captain Charlie Beckett, Bennett kicks for goal. 12-3.
37 minutes and Ealing score their third and final try of the first half. Ampthill lose their own line out on half-way, the ball is worked to Ealing wing Kernahow who beats several tackles to score in the corner. Willis converts. 19-3.
39 minutes – Another Ampthill penalty in the hosts 22 and again Beckett instructs Bennett to go for the posts. 19-6 at Oranges.
The Mob having so much possession but Ealing’s quality equal to all their ideas. On another day and with better decision making the scoreline may have been closer. The hosts lucky to still have a full complement of players on the pitch.
However an error strew second half with multiple substitutions and lack of fluidity and Ealing run in another 5 tries, all converted and a Final Score of 54 v 6.
Mark Lavery “For periods of the first half we showed we can compete with the very best in this level. However, we demonstrated our naivety by forcing plays and some poor decision-making was capitalised upon by a very efficient side.
Our set-piece was working well, we competed in the scrum but again our failure to convert scoring opportunities and be clinical at the right moment has resulted in an 8-0 try result. We’ll learn from it and there are plenty of positives to take. Well done to Ealing Trailfinders and good luck for the rest of the season”
Images: Dave Horn, PRIME Media UK