Ealing Trailfinders Rugby Club returned to action with a convincing 41-13 win over Wharfedale, courtesy of a stunning second half display from the league leaders.
ETRFC started the game on the front foot and were ahead after five minutes as Phil Chesters and Mclean-Dents passed their way through the Wharfedale backline. The neat interchange allowed Mclean Dent’s to race through and score. Tom Wheatcroft saw his conversion bounce off the post, leaving the score at 5-0.
After a Wharfedale penalty had reduced the arrears to 5-3, Phil Chesters weaved his way through four challenges on his way to scoring a stunning solo try. It was de-ja vu for Wheatcroft as his conversion yet again rattled against the post.
Wharfedale struck back once more as a result of a Thomas Barrett penalty before a deafening applause drowned out Wheatcroft’s sigh of relief as he saw his penalty sail in between the posts.
The home side’s performance was lacklustre in the first half, with the crowd far from happy that the side were only going into the break 13-6 ahead.
ETRFC started the second half dominantly but were being left frustrated by the Wharfedale backline. As ETRFC continued to pile pressure on their guests, it was clear that the visitors were beginning to tire.
Fifteen minutes into the second half and ETRFC’s pressure finally told as eye-catching tries from Wheatcroft, Steve Pape and Ben Ward took the game away from Wharfedale in the space of seven second half minutes. Ben Ward was given the kicking duties in the second half and made no mistake with the three conversions, as ETRFC raced into a 34-6 lead.
With the game safe and the bonus point rightfully received, ETRFC began to play the free-flowing rugby that has seen them dominate National One this season. With seven minutes remaining Steve Pape bullied his way through the exhausting Wharfedale defence for his second try of the day. Ward added the extras with ease, giving the home side a flattering 41-6 advantage.
With the game over, Wharfedale gave the travelling support something to cheer about as they finally broke the ETRFC backline to score their only try in the last play of the game.
ETRFC now sit thirteen points clear of second-placed Blaydon and travel to Old Albanians next weekend.