Ealing Trailfinders 94 Haywards Heath 8

Big win puts local rugby team in the play offs

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Ealing Trailfinders booked their place in the play offs with this convincing win over Haywards Heath. Unfortunately for Haywards Heath this also condemned them to relegation from London 1. London Scottish are automatically promoted as champions following their win at Staines and Worthing will have to spend another year in London 1 even though they won 76 – 11.

Ealing realised the importance of getting a good start and they did just that when David Essien crashed over for the first of his 4 tries. With the conversion added by Ben Ward Ealing were leading 7 – 0. These two points added to Ben’s impressive points tally for the season and he finished as the leagues top kicker with 210 points. However when they went offside following a Haywards Heath drive the opportunity to reduce the arrears was taken and the lead had been cut to just four points.

They were the last points scored by Heath in the first half as the Ealing forwards took total control leading to a further six tries being scored, Dave Essien adding another to his tally, both props Justin Smith & Steve Neville, flanker Jay King scoring the first of his 4 tries and both wingers Bryan Young and Owen Bruynseels getting on the score sheet. Alternating kickers to give Chris Wells some practice helped as he added the first of his six conversions.

Half time arrived with the score 39 – 3 in Ealing’s favour giving them a good points difference on the day over rivals Worthing. When news filtered through from Worthing that they were not beating Old Albanians by a score large enough to dent the points difference it was greeted with great relief by a large Ealing crowd.

Dave Essien started the second half in the same vein as he did the first when he scored the third of his tries and this led to the floodgates opening for Ealing as they ran in another eight tries in this half. Chris Cells added a try to go with his conversions, Jay King added his 2nd, 3rd & 4th tries, No 8 Russell Carr scored and Kene Ejikeme added another two. These two tries for Kene means that he finishes the season as the leagues joint top try scorer with 18 tries Haywards Heath did manage a solitary try in the 2nd half , but it was mainly one way traffic and with a bit of luck Ealing could have broken the 100 points barrier for the second consecutive league game. As it was this points total ensured that Ealing score over 1000 points for the season, the first time that they have done that since 1988/89.

When the results came in from both Worthing and Staines it confirmed that Ealing would be playing in the play offs. This match will be at Vallis Way, Ealing’s better playing record over opponents Cleve ensuring the home advantage, on Saturday 28th April. After the game there was presentation made for the Supporters Player of the Season which went to hooker Scott Hodson. Although Scott’s name seldom appeared on the score sheets, his performances throughout the season ensured that others would be able to benefit from his endeavours.

Before the play off fixture, Ealing compete in two cup finals, the first on Wednesday evening when the Development XV take on Harrow at Harrow in the North West Floodlit Cup, 7.30pm kick off and the second final being at London Nigerians when Ealing will be attempting to retain the Middlesex Cup for the fourth consecutive year. This match is on Sunday 22nd April, kicking off at 2.30pm. An exciting end for the season is promised!

April 19, 2007