REPORT: Tynedale 17 - 29 Ealing Trailfinders
Ealing Trailfinders returned from their trip to the north-east with all five points on offer and so retain their nine-point lead at the top of National 1.
Phil Chesters ran in a hat-trick and Arthur Ellis and Luke Daniels all crossed the whitewash to quell a fired up Tynedale who are battling hard to avoid relegation.
It was the home side who opened the stronger of the two sides and who controlled the early stages. They were particularly strong in the lineout and showed their strength there with an early catch and drive.
Tynedale wing Oli Foster had the Ealing Trailfinders defence scrambling to clear after a kick and chase, but eventually the visitors’ composure shone through after the early onslaught and when Arthur Ellis swept on a loose lineout, the backline was set running and Chesters finished off the move in the corner.
It set up a good period for Ealing Trailfinders and Llewelyn Jones and Paul Spivey both kept up the momentum with strong carries. Then from a lineout catch and drive Ellis peeled off the side to add another try to his tally for the season.
The hosts reacted with a concerted period of pressure and after twice coming close they made the breakthrough when 36-year-old prop Mike Southern dummied on the line and nipped through a half-yard of space to dot down for a deserved score.
Again the momentum swung back in Ealing Trailfinders’ favour and on the stroke of halftime Daniels broke the Tynedale defence and accelerated away to dive over in the corner.
Immediately after the break Daniels broke through the Tynedale defence and when Chesters popped up on his shoulder a simple pass allowed the wing to run in his second of the match.
It spurred the hosts into action and they enjoyed a long period in which they dominated both territory and possession. After hammering the Ealing Trailfinders line, flanker Dan Temm picked a strong line through the defence and dived between the posts for a try that flyhalf Matt Outson converted.
Ealing Trailfinders responded straight from kick off when Llewelyn Jones gathered the ball and went on the attack. After attacking to the right, the ball came back to the left where Chesters had a simple run in to complete his hattrick.
Again Tynedale took a grip on proceedings and when hooker Dave Nelson scored in the corner the belief that they could earn a four-try bonus point flooded through the team and they were in the ascendancy till the final whistle.
Ealing Trailfinders defence stood firm though and at the final whistle it was the visitors who had achieved their aims for the day.
Tries (Southern 35, Temms 49), Conversions (Outson 49)
Tries (Chesters 10, 42, 51 Ellis 26, Daniels 40), Conversions (Daniels 10, 42)
Jack Harrison, Oli Foster, Ben Frankland, Will Miller, Peter Weightman, Matt Outson, Dan Taylor; Sam White, Dave Nelson, Alex Westgarth, Andrew Buist (captain), Glenn Young, Dan Temm, Matt Charters, Scott Powell
Louis Frankland, Pete Southern, Joe Mills, Adam King, Dan Marshall
Luke Daniels, Chris Kinloch, Sam Wardingley, Tom Wheatcroft, Phil Chesters, Ben Ward, Alex Walker; Jamie Kilbane, Matt Thompson, Nathan Buck, Paul Spivey, Carwyn Jones, Llewelyn Jones, Arthur Ellis, Tom Brown (captain)
Kevin Davis, Alex Penny, Dave Lyons, Anders Nilsson, Will Harries
Referee – Matthew O’Grady