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Trailfinders too good for battling Knights.

The Knights ended pre-season with a third defeat but will take plenty of positives from their Trailfinders Challenge Cup campaign having produced three encouraging displays.

The Trailfinders were confirmed as the unbeaten champions and began the game at an impressive tempo with the early pressure telling after just seven minutes.

Following a deep line out, over eagerness in the Knights defensive line opened up a hole which full back David Johnston galloped through & Steven Shingler converted.

The Knights response was immediate as Sam Olver nudged a penalty moments later following good pressure at the restart.

It wasn’t enough to disrupt the Tralfinders early flow and from a solid lineout platform the Londoners were able to generate quick front foot ball which gave the hard-running back row and midfield opportunity to make their presence felt.

A short range lineout gave Ealing their second try on 18 minutes with Guy Thompson tumbling over at the back of the maul. Shingler added the extras and the signs were ominous with the Trailfinders really at the races.

The second quarter was much better and good pressure forced a series of penalties which eventually saw loose head Will Davis sin binned. From the resulting line out George Roberts crashed over at the back with Olver converting. Half time 14-10.

Ealing dropped back into gear quickly after the restart and registered their third, this time it was Steven Shingler breaking blind after a well-constructed driving line out.

A Sam Olver penalty reduced the arrears and when lock Bobby de Wee was sin binned for a no arm challenge it looked like it was game on.

Sadly, the Knights could not capitalize and hooker Alun Walker extended the home lead before James Cannon touched down to guarantee the win.

The home side looked as good as they have done so far this campaign but the Knights were able to prevent further scores despite plenty of pressure.

With all the replacements on the Knights scored arguably the try of the game. Off first phase Billy McBrdye found Kyle Evans on a lovely short line and the winger raced away to touch down & McBryde converted.

A final score of 33-20 would have been a fair reflection of the game overall but Donny were unable to see the fixture out. A messy restart preceded a penalty & from the resulting lineout the Trailfinders crossed again adding gloss to the score.

A slightly frustrating outing for Donny but with two weeks to go until the start of the Championship the side have had three extremely testing fixtures and will feel ready to hit the ground running on March 6th.

Ealing XV | 15 David Johnston 14 Luke Daniels 13 Jack Tovey 12 Pat Howard 11 Angus Kernohan 10 Steven Shingler 9 Craig Hampson 1 Will Davis 2 Alun Walker 3 Elliot Millar Mills 4 Bobby de Wee 5 James Cannon 6 Adam Korczyk 7 Guy Thompson 8 Rayn Smid (c). 

Replacements| 16 Shaun Malton 17 George Davis 18 Harry Seward 19 Ben West 20 Kieran Murphy 21 Jordan Burns 22 Craig Willis 23 James Cordy Redden

Tries; Johnston 7’, Thompson 18’ 80’, Shingler 43’, Walker 61’, Cannon 70’

Conv; Shingler 7’, 18’, 43’, 61’, 80’

Pens;

Knights XV |15 Tom Bacon, 14 Kyle Evans, 13 Harry strong (Charlie Foley 36’), 12 Mark Best, 11 Howard Packman, 10 Sam Olver (Bily McBryde 63’), 9 James Mitchell (Sam Pocklington 63’), 1 Bomber Hislop (c) (Conrad Cade 70’), 2 George Roberts (Will Holling 60’), 3 Joe Jones (Gaz Denman 55’), 4 Matt Challinor, 5 Jerry Sexton (Matt Smith 60’), 6 Conor Joyce (John Kelly 60’), 7 Sam Graham, 8 Guido Volpi,

Replacements | 16 Conrad Cade, 17 Will Holling, 18 Gaz Denman, 19 Matt Smith, 20 John Kelly, 21 Sam Pocklington, 22 Billy McBryde, 23 Charlie Foley.

Tries; Roberts 28’, Evans 78’

Conv; Olver 29’, McBryde 78’

Pens; Olver 9’, 49’

Referee: Sara Cox

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