Match Report: 1st XV 17 v 32 Ealing Trailfinders, 17/09/2022

Following a “disappointing performance” on the opening day of the season against Jersey, Head Coach Paul Turner demanded a reaction from his players for the visit of reigning champions Ealing and to a man they delivered!

Following a game much closer than the 17 v 32 scoreline suggests, Turner said “We were proud of all of our players today who stood up and went toe to toe with a very efficient Ealing side. Last weeks performance against Jersey quickly became a very distant memory.

There was a huge improvement across the board but ultimately we lost out on the big moments in the final third. We probably deserved more from the game.

Despite defeat it was a massive step forward for the group.”

Following a minutes silence and the national anthem in honour of the late HRH Queen Elizabeth II, Ealing got the game underway under bright sunshine and after four minutes opened the scoring! The visitors won a penalty on halfway which Willis kicked deep into the Ampthill 22 and from the resulting 5m line out and maul Montgomery touched down, Willis missing the extras 0 v 5.

A sixteenth minute yellow card for Llewelyn Jones gave the visitors a man advantage and that provided the platform for the second try – Ampthill over committing in the breakdown and Ealing capitalising with an overlap to score under the posts. 0 v 12

This was a full bloodied encountered and both sides had opportunities to score but a series of errors kept the score at 0 v 12. Winning a penalty just inside their own half, Hardwick switched play and instead of kicking to touch went crossfield deep into Ealing territory – Ben Cambriani loves a chase and with a sniff of a try there was only going to be one winner, the Welshman beating Jonah Holmes to the ball and touching down. Hardwick missed the extras and it was game on at half time, 5 – 12.

A minute into the second half Ampthill were level – putting Ealing under pressure from the restart, the ball was worked wide left leaving Cambriani with ball in hand and one man to beat from 30 metres. Try Ampthill, Hardwick added the extras 12 v 12

Ampthill has their tails up but multiple attacks were thwarted by a resolute Ealing defence. A 56th minute penalty in front of the posts gave Ealing the lead – the kick at posts indicating the pressure A’s were exerting. 12 v 15

Ampthill could have taken the lead – with a penalty awarded on Ealing 10m line, Tom Hardwick kicked to touch, the Mob forward pack got trundling and Theo Dan mistakenly thought the 5m line was the try line and an opportunity slipped away as Ealing turned the ball over and cleared their lines.

Ampthill were still knocking on the visitors door and with less than 20 minutes on the clock the game could’ve gone either way. Uzokwe broke the line for Ealing’s third try and a Shingler conversion extended their lead to 12 v 22.

Five minutes later Man of the Match Cambriani had his hat-trick running in again in the corner – replacement fly-half Gwyn Parks narrowly missing a difficult kick in to the wind but arrears reduced to 17 v 22 with six minutes on the clock.

Ampthill went hunting the bonus point fourth try and the win, but over commitment in attack provided space for replacement wing Carlo Tizzano to break through and score Ealing’s fourth try before a Shingler penalty completed the scoring on the final whistle – 17 v 32!

A much improved performance to take into next week’s visit to The Butts Park where we face old rivals Coventry!

Comfort Homecare Man of the Match: Ben Cambriani
Attendance: 565

Image: Jensen Clayton

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