David Howells confirmed his status as the division's leading try scorer with a brace of tries as Ealing Trailfinders returned to winning form with a 15-10 victory at Henley Hawks on Saturday, writes Arthur Lewis.
Howells' two tries take his total for the season to 11 from only eight games, putting him three clear at the top of the league tryscoring charts.
The win will have gone some way to lifting spirits after last week's first defeat of the season in the key promotion fixture with London Scottish.
On a heavy pitch that only got worse during the game, Ealing made the brightest of starts, scoring all of their points in the first 10 minutes.
Howells opened the scoring with his first try after only two minutes following a period of quality flowing rugby. Ben Ward missed the conversion, but added a penalty a few minutes later as Ealing maintained the pressure on the home side.
Howells then took full advantage of a loose ball as Ealing's defence turned the screw to run in his second try that Ward converted.
Henley did manage to reply before half time with a try by full back Ralph Smith to be 15-5 down at the break.
As the game wore on, the condition of the pitch deteriorated and quality rugby was at a premium. Both sides were guilty of committing too many unforced errors and with the pitch cutting up badly, both defences were well on top and the game became dominated by kicking.
Late in the game, Henley managed to overcome the conditions to string together a sustained attack that resulted in a second try for Smith.
The win keeps Ealing seven points behind leaders London scottish, who were also winners at the weekend.
This weekend, Ealing host Chinnor (2pm), who have so far found life tough in the league after winning promotion from South West One last season and currently sit 12th in the table with only one win.