A lively and dramatic game at the Trailfinders Sports
Ground saw Ealing give their survival hopes to huge lift as they
beat Nottingham 37-35.
With so much at stake for both clubs it was encouraging to see
both commit fully to a positive gameplan.
The Nottingham pack generally had the better of things, but it
was the Ealing backs who earned the points as they regularly cut
through the visitors' defence with some pacey and inventive
But four tries for the Green and Whites, along with the
two-point losing margin, meant they travelled home with two
precious bonus points, the gap between them and Ealing reduced to
The means Nottingham still need two points to preserve their
place in the Green King IPA Championship, with just two games now
It was nail-biting stuff and in another strong finish Nottingham
almost snatched the draw that would have guaranteed safety as their
fourth try brought them back to within two points, only to see the
conversion hit the upright.
A great start saw Joe Munro grab an early try following a break
form Tom Calladine, Matt Jarvis making it 0-7 with the
But the home side hit straight back with a try from winger Phil
Chesters as he gathered a cross-field kick. Ben Ward's conversion
levelled the scores.
Two Jarvis penalties gave the Green and Whites a six point lead
but Ealing again responded well, winning a lineout in Nottingham
territory and moving the ball out wide for Ronnie McLean to break
through after good work form impressive full back Andrew Henderson.
Ward again slotted over the conversion to put Ealing 14-13
And it was Henderson who got the home side's third try, showing
plenty of pace as he broke away from inside his own half to touch
down and give Ward a straightforward conversion.
But it was Nottingham who finished the first half camped in home
territory, eventually creating space for Joe Cobden to mark his
return to the side with a try which Jarvis converted to make it
21-20 at the break.
The Ealing backs had caused all sorts of problems for the
Nottingham defence, and it didn't take them long to secure the
bonus point with another impressive attack soon after the
And again it was Henderson who made the breakthrough after good
handling from Tom Bedford and Phil Chesters. Ward's conversion gave
the home side an eight-point cushion.
Another Jarvis penalty cut the deficit to five points, but the
move which led up to that penalty saw Cobden forced out of the
action with a hamstring problem.
Despite being reduced to 14 men, following a yellow card, Ealing
restored that eight-point advantage with a penalty from Ward, who
then increased it to eleven points with a drop goal.
A second drop goal, this time from Morgan Thompson made it
37-23, but Nottingham managed to find another strong finish to
close the gap to just two points.
First it was Calladine who chipped through and gathered the ball
to cross, with Jarvis making it 37-30 with the conversion.
And substitute Harrison Lee-Everton then raced down the wing to
score in the corner. The difficult conversion would have levelled
the scores but hit the post, much to Ealing's relief and
The home side managed to run the clock down over the last couple
of minutes to hang on for a deserved win.