Greene King IPA Championship

Ealing Trailfinders 21-26 Bristol Rugby

Remember Gavin Henson?

The man of the moment a while back in 71 Degrees North, Strictly Come Dancing and The Bachelor - not to mention fathering two children to singer Charlotte Church, was back in the limelight at Vallis Way on Saturday.

But Trailfinders would have preferred Henson to be on babysitting duties rather than booting the west Londoners to a slim defeat.

Catch me if you can: Phil Chesters shows Tom Varndell a clean pair of heels: pics Dave Jackson

The Bristol player’s unlucky 13 points from an Ealing point of view condemned them to a fifth reverse out of six and one shove down the table to second bottom.

Phil Chesters and Nathan Hannay ran over to earn a fourth losing bonus point that goes a way to fuel optimism they will get wins over the lesser sides and avoid relegation.

However, tries from Jack Wallace and Tom Varndell in quick succession in the second half gave Bristol the initiative and Henson’s kicking allowed them to keep Ben Ward’s side at arm’s length despite the best efforts of the hosts.

After only six minutes Chesters swooped on a loose ball and used his pace to outstrip one-time England winger Tom Varndell to score the opening try.

Tackle: Nathan Hannay against Bristol

Tristan Roberts converted, and James Love stretched the lead for a 10-6 lead at halfway after Henson notched a couple of penalties before adding a third shortly after the restart.

Ealing rediscovered their rhythm and were rewarded when second-row Hannay bundled his way over from close range.

Again Bristol stirred themselves, and Wallace raced over following Will Cliff’s break. Soon after, Varndell picked a strong line off Tovey to receive his pass, race away from the defence to score and put Bristol in front for the first time.

Boot boy: Tristan Roberts, pic: Dave Jackson

Roberts scored two penalties in quick succession, but Adrian Jarvis scored one of his own to stretch Bristol’s lead and become the west country side’s all-time leading scorer with 709 points.


Ealing Trailfinders

Tries (Chesters 6, Hannay 52), Conversions (Roberts 6), Penalties (Love 19, Roberts 59, 62)

Bristol Rugby

Tries (Wallace 55, Varndell 57), Conversions (Henson 55, 57), Penalties (Henson 30, 39, 46, Jarvis 65)