The Knights were handed their first home defeat of the season today against a strong Ealing Trailfinders side.
Three first half tries from the visitors was too much to comeback from as the Knights rallied once again in positive second half display.
It was a promising start from Doncaster with Kurt Morath scoring a penalty in the opening encounters. However, Ealing soon took control of the game with James Cordy-Redden getting on the end of a Peter Lydon chip.
Five minutes later, the away side mounted on the pressure and got their rewards when Lewis Jones drove over. Lydon scored his second conversion of the afternoon to give a 3-14 lead to the Trailfinders.
The Knights began to fightback and were nearly back in the game instantly, when William Ryan made a great break, however his offload found a grateful Ealing player inside the away side’s 22 metre line.
On 36 minutes, Lydon added to his points contribution for the afternoon, after the fullback dotted down after Jordan Reid broke past the Knights defence.
The Knights ended the half on a positive note though and set up a tense second, when James Malcolm was amongst a driving maul after a super lineout. Morath then added the extras to make it 8-21 at the break.
It was Ben Ward’s side that came out in the second half with more intensity though as Cordy-Redden scored his second try of the game to extend Ealing’s lead.
The Knights soon replied with a driving run from substitute Joe Sproston; Tom James then chipped it through for Curtis Wilson to outpace the opposition defence and score his first try of the season. Morath scored the conversion to reduce the deficit to 15-28.
The tide had turned in the Knights favour, with the pressure now firmly on the Trailfinders shoulders. Summer signing Ryan then scored his first try of the season after another superb driving maul down the right flank, Morath then managed his best kick of the game, when he hit it between the posts on his wrong side and inches from the sidelines.
At 22-28 now, the Knights continued to fight and looked like scoring another try, however it was Ealing that hit back. A penalty kick on 71 minutes extend their lead, before Jack O’connell fought off several Knights' tackles to power over and end the score line at 22-38 to last season’s second placed side.
Knights XV: 15. Jarvis (64' Cowell) 14. McColl 13. Hayes 12. Creed 11. Wilson 10. Morath 9. James (72' Seniloli) 1. Hislop (60' Williams) (75' Hicks) 2. Malcolm (53' Nelson) 3. Quigley (47' Sprsoton) 4. Challinor (53' Eames) 5. Civetta 6. Ryan (68' Hislop) 7. Calladine 8. Tyrell
Replacements 16. Nelson 17. Williams 18. Sproston 19. Eames 20. Hicks 21. Seniloli 22. Cowell
Tries: 38’ Malcolm, 48’ Wilson, 61’ Ryan Conversions: Morath 2 Penalties: Morath
Yellow Card: Williams
Ealing Trailfinders XV: 15. Lydon 14. Packman 13. Jones 12. Howard 11. Cordy-Redden 10. Willis 9. James-Carter 1. Ellwood 2. Walker 3. Davis 4. Landry 5. Denton 6. Smid 7. Reid 8. Stedman
Replacements: 16. Cornish 17. O’connell 18. Betts 19. O’Regan 20. Durutalo 21. Burns 22. Olver
Tries: 11’ Cordy-Redden, 15’ Jones, 32’ Lydon, 45’ Cordy-Redden, 71’ Howard
Conversions: Lydon 5 Penalties: Lydon