London Welsh 28-0 Ealing Trailfinders


Table-toppers London Welsh had too much for Ealing, who again did their best to shed their mantle as the Championship's whipping boys.

The beleaguered Vallis Way looked far more assured than anyone might have expected in the opening half an hour at Oxford's Kassam Stadium, when it was frankly hard to tell which team was at the top of the Championship and which team at the bottom.

But the result was never in doubt once the home side got their noses in front.

One fine move in that golden spell typified Ealing's spirited display.

A solid scrum in their own 22, ended in a fine break-out and the ball played nicely through the backs for Chris Kinloch to cut a swathe through a retreating Welsh defence. Only a stumble from Phil Chesters in the opposition 22 ended the move.

Andy Hall missed two tough pots at goal from out wide too, but after an opening in which Trailfinders more than held their own, they suddenly found themselves 14-0 down.

They were exposed and outnumbered after two simple bursts though the middle. Scrum-half Rob Lewis bagged the first, fly half Ross Gunn the second – Gunn converting both.

Both tries were hugely disappointing after such a promising start. The second in particular, as Ealing's defence melted away under their own up and under and the Welsh, gathering the high ball, broke in numbers, suddenly unhindered.

Home winger Seb Stegmann was halted just short of the line by Chesters, but Ross was on hand to take the pass popped up to him from three yards.

After that, there was no coming back and following a succession of transgressions at scrums near their own line, ref Craig Maxwell-Keys lost patience and awarded a penalty try. Ross' conversion made it a harsh 21-0 at the break.

After that, it was just a question of pride again for Ealing and although they resisted well for a while, they eventually conceded the bonus point try – Welsh skipper Tom May collecting a long pass out to the right flank and outpacing the defence from the half way line.

Sub Will Robinson converted well to keep the scoreboard moving along in increments of seven.

Not much of the second half was played in Welsh territory, but the hosts were in the comfort zone after their fourth try and did not exactly go heavy on the accelerator in search of more points.

That left Mike Cudmore's men with dignity intact and a scoreline that at least was no repeat of some of the hammerings already endured on the road this season.