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Trailfinders quality too much for Donny.

Ealing 57-14 Doncaster Knights

The Knights wait for a first victory at Vallis Way continues as an injury affected Knights side were well beaten by Ealing Trailfinders who demonstrated why most people consider them Bristol’s closest rivals in the race for promotion.

The Trailinders struck the first blow with the game just three minutes old as an early ruck infringement was penalized and full back Luke Daniels opened the scoring with an on target kick. Penalties and indiscipline proved the undoing of the Knights in the opening forty as repeated penalties hamstrung any positive play they created

Despite the final scoreline it was the Knights who crossed the whitewash first and a fine try it was.

A big hit from Curtis Wilson in defence created a bit of confusion in the Ealing line and a loose ball was seized by Declan Cusack. A couple of quick phases created space before Tom James switched the direction of play and with numbers down the right hand side Cameron Cowell produced a perfectly weighted kick into the goal area where Charlie Foley won the footrace to score. Dougie Flockhart added the extras from outwide; 3-7.

This was as good as it got for the Knights as the remainder of the tie belonged firmly to the hosts who ran in a total of eight tries, seven of which were goaled by the impressive Luke Daniels.  

Hooker Alun Walker opened the Trailfinders account as he bundled over at the back of a driving lineout then, five minutes later, back row Keiran Murphy extended the home lead as he took advantage of defensive confusion post lineout to hit a nice line and score.

Trailing 24-7 the next score was going to be crucial even at such an early stage and whilst the Knights can have few complaints about the full time result there was an element of misfortune in the hosts fourth score. 

With Donny deep in the home 22m and probing the Ealing line, James spun a pass wide towards Lloyd Hayes which, if had gone to hand, would surely have resulted in a score. However, James Cordy Redden was alert to the danger and intercepted to set off down the other end of the field. Cameron Cowell raced back to chase him down but a couple phases later the hosts went over again through Lee Jones.

The score meant the Knights had a 24-point deficit going into the break and things didn’t get much better following the resumption. A failure to look after the ball in contact meant a promising Knights attack turned into another Ealing score on 49 minutes as Jones crossed again following a midfield turnover.

Rayn Smid got his first of a second half brace on 56 minutes, again the Knights paying the price for poor ball protection and quick hands gave the flanker an easy run in out wide. 

Some credit must be given to the Knights who showed resilience in the final quarter and began to ask questions of the home defence aided by good impact from the bench.

A penalty deep in the Trailfinders 22m was taken quickly and the forwards set up a driving maul. The pack made decent ground before Michael Heaney fed Cowell who showed good footwork to finish and Simon Humberstone converted.

In the dying moments the Knights threw anything they had left into their attacking endeavours, unfortunately though it left them a little exposed and Ealing were able to cross twice more through Smid and Daniels.

A tough day at the office for the Knights who must write this result off and move forward into the challenges of the coming weeks. Starting with Bristol at Castle Park this Saturday.

Ealing Trailfinders; 15 Luke Daniels 14 Will Harries 13 Lewis Jones (Piers O’Conor 75’) 12 Joe Munro 11 James Cordy Redden 10 Rory Clegg (Lewis Robling) 9 Luke Carter (Grayson Hart) 1 Will Davis (James Gibbons) 2 Alun Walker 3 Mark Tampin (Lewis Thiede) 4 Barney Maddison 5 Harry Casson (Llewelyn Jones) 6 Kieran Murphy (Matt Cornish) 7 Rayn Smid 8 Mark Bright 

Replacements; 16 Matt Cornish 17 James Gibbons 18 Lewis Thiede 19 Llewelyn Jones 20 Grayson Hart 21 Lewis Robling 22 Piers O’Conor 

Tries; Walker 14’, Murphy 19’, Harries 26’, Jones 37’, 49’, Smid 56’, 77’, Daniels 75’.

Conv; Daniels 14’, 19’, 26’, 37’, 49’, 56’, 75’

Pens; Daniels 3’

Knights XV; 15) Cameron Cowell, 14) Dougie Flockhart (Simon Humberstone 50’), 13) Charlie Foley (Junior Bulumakau 20’), 12) Lloyd Hayes, 11) Curtis Wilson, 10) Declan Cusack, 9) Tom James (Michael Heaney 59’), 1) Owen Evans (Jack Bergmanas 60’), 2) Curtis Langdon (Ben Hunter 58’), 3) Joe Sproston, 4) Matt Challinor (Stone Priestley-Nangle 70’), 5) Morgan Eames, 6) Alex Shaw, 7) Michael Hills ©, 8) Jason Hill.

Replacements; 16) Ben Hunter, 17) Jack Bergmanas, 18) Colin Quigley, 19) Stone Priestley-Nangle, 20) Junior Bulumakau, 21) Michael Heaney, 22) Simon Humberstone.

Tries; Foley 8’, Cowell 71’

Conv; Flockhart 8’, Humberstone 71’

Pens;

Attendance; 574

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