Oct 29 2012 By Karun Jung
Ealing Trailfinders continued their impressive push for promotion after a convincing win at North Yorkshire’s strong Wharfedale RUFC outfit.
An early 2.00pm kick-off brought the ‘greens’ of Ealing up to one of the most picturesque venues in the UK. Even the early morning light snowfall and the brisk northern chill couldn’t hide the sunshine and the friendly welcome from our friends at Wharfedale.
Even before the game commenced we were party to the Wharfedale ‘one man show’ ground commentator, who had a repertoire of words that the Oxford English dictionary would find hard to equal and it certainly got us all in the mood for an excellent game of rugby. A fantastic turnout of spectators from Ealing was impressive to say the least as it was almost a 500 mile round trip for the following fans.
Ealing won the toss and kicked off and almost scored from the first attack. An early penalty was a certain 3 point kick, but Ealing surprised many by going for touch and looking for a try – a clear sign that confidence was high and an away victory was the only thing on the team’s mind.
However despite an early advantage it remained scoreless, mainly down to our own poor handling and a few forward passes. Team manager Mike Cudmore is the first to always say, there is no excuse for unforced errors and Ealing were not helping themselves, especially as the pressure on Wharfedale was constant and we should have been well ahead before the scores actually came.
Despite Ealing’s early start it was surprisingly the home team who got the first points on the board from a penalty kick which came in off the upright.
Maybe this was the shock Ealing needed as they came back with the right answer straight after the kick-off with a very skilful chip and run try from winger Phil Chesters and the conversion was successful.
Ealing picked up from there and although Wharfedale closed the gap to one point (6-7) with another penalty kick, the West London green shirts began to up the ante. A penalty try came our way next, due to the huge pressure of the forwards driving to the home team’s try line and Dale’s men continuing to force the pack to the ground. Again the conversion was successful and mistakes were beginning to come more often from Wharfedale now including kicking out on the full on occasions and a Gibson try with conversion and penalty kicks saw the half time whistle come with Ealing leading 21- 9.
Again fun and articulation skills came from the Wharfedale commentator, who was quite possibly auditioning himself for the X-Factor!
The second half had Wharfedale starting the quicker of the two teams but the quality of Ealing was really starting to show and I’m sure a strong talking too from the management at half time was reason enough to raise the level from the National League Division One leaders.
Injuries were happening quite a bit in the hard fought match and it was another penalty kick for the Yorkshire team that seemed to spark even more vigour from Ealing as they soon took command of the game and led from the front.
The first substitution from Ealing came and Sam Wardingley came on for Tom Wheatcroft and soon scored himself with an impressive burst for the line and under the posts.
Ealing’s conversions and kicks were helping boost the score and soon it was 31 points to 17. Simon Gaynor replaced Stephen Pape and again it was a player from the bench who scored next for Ealing through Gaynor. Adam Preocanin had also come on from the bench and was immediately impressive and team manager Cudmore was quick to praise all the players that came on and in particular recent Ealing signing Preocanin.
Ealing’s specialist hooker Jonathan Moyce came on for the last 10 minutes and several more kicks between the posts pushed the score up to 41 points without another reply from Wharfedale as the referee blew the final whistle with an impressive 17 – 41 away win for the greens and a comfortable and now expected sight at the top of the table is clear for all to see and an unbeaten season to date remains intact.