Knights Topple League Leaders at Castle Park
27th November 2021
Doncaster Knights claimed a valuable four points in a famous win as they defeated Ealing Trailfinders 22-5 at Castle Park today, maintaining their home win record.
It was a ferocious game, with the Knights doggedly determined not to allow Ealing to claim an inch – to the point that they held the Londoners scoreless for 70 minutes.
The Knights opened the afternoon’s scoring just four minutes into the encounter when winger Maliq Holden went over for a try in the exact same corner in which he had scored one against Richmond at the beginning of the month. With Sam Olver’s conversion, the Knights were seven points up on the board.
Ealing strung good phases together, featuring in the Knights 22 on a couple of occasions, but each time they believed they had a foothold in the game, the home side would repel their advances.
Olver topped up the scoreboard with a penalty, earned at the scrum by the pack – a feature of the day. Ealing were hampered for much of the match by the wind as kick after kick was collected by the blustering weather and sent back into play on out after just a couple of measly metres.
It was never going to be a relaxed affair, but tempers flared before half time to the point that referee Ian Tempest sent Knights back row, Jack Davies, to the bin for foul play. However, even with 14 men, the Knights closed out the half leading 10-0 – no mean feat, holding Ealing scoreless in a half.
Not long after the second half start, James Cordy-Redden thought he had breezed through for the visitors before play was brought back for a crossing call on the winger.
Play was back-and-forth for the following quarter before the Knights struck again on 63 minutes played. A massive effort at the driving maul from a lineout in the Ealing 22 saw the Donny pack crash over with hooker George Edgson claiming the scoring glory. A conversion from Olver lengthened their lead.
With 70 minutes on the clock, the London outfit finally got their names on the scoreboard. Ealing used quick pace in their rolling maul to surprise the Knights defence and cross for their sole score, reportedly secured by Simon Uzokwe. Unfortunately for the visiting side, Craig Willis’ conversion rebounded off the posts.
Doncaster always seemed determined to put a final nail in the coffin, and they did just that with five minutes to spare. Jack Spittle intercepted an Ealing pass in his own 22 and fed Billy McBryde who stormed down the field, easily covering 90 yards, to score a raucously received try. The conversion was held up by the wind but the Knights and their fans were already happy enough.
An already joyous afternoon for the crowd was made all the sweeter as club legend, Richard List, made an appearance on the field for the last five minutes of the game.
It was a win that never truly seemed in doubt from the minute Doncaster scored their first try, and so, it is a performance they will want to mirror when they head to Cornish Pirates next week.
Knights XV | 15 Billy McBryde; 14 Jack Spittle, 13 Mark Best, 12 Fraser Strachan, 11 Maliq Holden; 10 Sam Olver, 9 Alex Dolly; 1 Conor Davidson, 2 George Edgson, 3 Gaz Denman, 4 John Kelly, 5 Ben Murphy, 6 Jack Davies, 7 Sam Graham (c), 8 Thom Smith.
Replacements | 16 George Roberts, 17 Richard List, 18 AndrewFoster, 19 Danny Drake, 20 Josh Peters, 21 Sam Hudson, 22 Lloyd Wheeldon, 23 Harry Davey.
Tries: Holden, Edgson, McBryde.
Conv: Olver 2.
Yellow card: Jack Davies.
Ealing XV | 15 David Johnston, 14 James Cordy-Redden, 13 Max Bodilly, 12 Reuben Bird-Tulloch, 11 Luke Daniels; 10 Steven Shingler, 9 Craig Hampson; 1 James Gibbons, 2 Shaun Malton, 3 Lewis Thiede, 4 Bobby de Wee, 5 James Cannon, 6 Max Northcote-Green, 7 Simon Uzokwe, 8 Rayn Smid.
Replacements | 16 Jan Campher, 17 Dylan Smith, 18 Kyle Whyte, 19 Simon Linsell, 20 Willem Massyn, 21 Stephen Kerins, 22 Craig Willis, 23 Cian Kelleher.
Referee: Ian Tempest.