REPORT: Fylde 14 - 39 Ealing Trailfinders
Ealing Trailfinders survived a strong test of their promotion credentials by running in six tries away to a well-drilled and dangerous Fylde side.
After the opening exchanges it was the Ealing Trailfinders pack that seized the initiative. After they won a penalty from a scrum, Ben Ward kicked to the corner, Paul Spivey caught the lineout and Red Pennycook was driven over to open the scoring.
When Fylde went on the attack with their lineout, good defence by Llewelyn Jones and Anders Nilsson kept their attacking intentions at bay and when there was a chance to run clear the backline gave Will Harries the chance to take play up to the halfway line.
However Fylde were soon back in the Ealing Trailfinders half and twice a Gareth Rawlings catch from a lineout allowed the hosts to build a driving maul that took them close to the visitors’ line. On the third Paul Spivey was yellow carded, but the lineout was long and Harries again ran the danger clear.
It allowed Ealing Trailfinders to clear into the Fylde half and after building pressure through some sharp off-loading and powerful carries, Arthur Ellis got his hands on the ball and darted through a gap for his 22nd try of the season.
Chris Kinloch came close to adding a third before he was bundled into touch, but soon after Nathan Buck was driven over from a lineout to put Ealing Trailfinders in touching distance of the bonus point after 30 minutes.
The next score came from the hosts though after they had built pressure through the middle of the visitors defence. Scott Rawlings punched a hole in the defence and when scrum-half Ryan De La Harpe passed the ball away smartly it soon made its way into the hands of wing Jordan Dorrington who dotted down in the corner.
Phil Chesters was then held up in the corner, but on the stroke of halftime, Ellis collected a deft offload from Jones to score between the posts to secure the bonus point.
It took the second half a little time to come alive, but Sam Wardingley sparked it into life when he spotted a gap in the Fylde defence and used his pace to break through. He was unable to set Chesters free outside him, but it meant that Ealing Trailfinders had good field position and Ward kept the scoreboard ticking over with a penalty.
Fylde continued to keep the ball in hand and play good rugby when they had the chance. Dorrington and his opposite wing Oli Brennand showed a good turn of pace and while their lineout maintained their supply of possession, they were unable to find a way through the visitors’ defence.
The next score came from Ealing Trailfinders after Phil Chesters rounded off a well-worked try having been set free after Alex Penny, Ellis and Kinloch linked up in a flowing move between forwards and backs.
Fylde captain Evan Stewart powered through to score the hosts’ second try, but it was the visitors who had the final say when Luke Daniels cut a strong line from a backs move to round off a clinical performance from the league leaders.
Warren Spragg, Jordan Dorrington, Ralph Dowds, Scott Rawlings, Oli Brennand, Chris Johnson, Ryan De La Harpe; Dan Birchall, Danny Maher, Adam Lewis, Simon Griffiths, Gareth Rawlings, Mark Goodman, Ben Vernon, Evan Stewart
Tom Lavelle, Tom Burtonwood, David Fairbrother, Greg Nicholls, Paul Arnold,
Will Harries, Chris Kinloch, Sam Wardingley, Andy Ready, Phil Chesters, Ben Ward, Alex Walker; Jamie Kilbane, Matt Thompson, Nathan Buck, Paul Spivey, Llewelyn Jones, Red Pennycook, Arthur Ellis, Anders Nilsson
Kevin Davis, Alex Penny, Dave Lyons, Alex Bradley, Luke Daniels
Tries (Dorrington 39, Stewart 76), Conversions (Johnson 39, De La Harpe 76)
Tries (Pennycook 8, Ellis 27, 40, Buck 34, Chesters 60, Daniels 79), Conversions (Ward 28, 35, 40), Penalties (Ward 55)
Referee – Lyr Ap-Geraint Roberts