Ealing Trailfinders 12 – Blaydon 11

The run-away league leaders go marching on and now look well set for promotion but Blaydon can take quiet satisfaction in the fact that over the two encounters between the sides this season there was not a single point between them.

In November at Crow Trees it was 35-34 in favour of Blaydon whilst yesterday in West London a 12-11 result was the outcome in an equally tight game with the winning try coming in the 74th minute.

In desparate conditions, deep mud and driving snow, Blaydon took a 2nd minute lead when Ealing handled in a ruck and Andrew Baggett, just back from injury, put over the penalty from 45 metres. The home side then repeated the offence and Baggett again took advantage, this time from closer in.

The early advantage was soon forfeited however when Blaydon lost their own line-out ball near the line and Ealing scrum-half Morgan Thompson nipped in to score, Tom Wheatcroft adding the conversion.

As the interval approached the visitors regained the initiative and were rewarded for kicking a penalty to the corner with a try for Andrew Davies after the pack had driven it on, and gain a half-time lead of 7-11.

Facing the elements in the second period Blaydon were kept on the back foot for 20 minutes but after finally breaking out had the opportunity to stretch the lead only to see it disappear at the other end. In a spell of 14 phases of possession with lock forward Keith Laughlin heavily involved they progressed deep into the 22 only to be penalised in front of the posts.

Ealing found touch with the clearance, won the line-out and kicked it to the far corner where a 5 metre scrum resulted and replacement winger Ron McLean-Dent touched down for the winning score. Blaydon again hit back in the closing minutes only to infringe again in front of the posts and the game was disappointingly gone.

John Brennan