No respite for injury-hit Reds at Vallis Way
SLOPPY, scrappy, stop-start and error-strewn.
That just about sums up the entire match at Vallis Way on Saturday. Jersey were ultimately well beaten by a side supposedly pushing for promotion to the Aviva Premiership – but on the evidence of this performance Ealing Trailfinders are a long way off being able to mix it with the best clubs in the country.
An early period of pressure for the hosts yielded an opening try, Alun Walker dotting down after a maul in the left-hand corner. Lydon converted.
Having conceded two early penalties at scrums, an almighty push from the Jersey pack led to a penalty against the head on the Ealing 22, which Cope duly slotted.
Having come through a difficult spell unscathed, Jersey won a kickable penalty but Cope, who has been so reliable with the boot this season, missed from 35 metres.
Facing a Jersey scrum on their own 22, Ealing pinched the ball through scrum-half Luke Carter and minutes later Miles Mantella had touched down for Ealing’s second try. Lydon appeared to put the conversion wide but the officials raised their flags leaving the half-time score at 14-3.
The Islanders conceded a penalty from their first scrum of the second period which Lydon converted for a 17-3 advantage, and five minutes later Andrew Durutalo forced his way over from close range for a converted try.
Despite not playing well, the hosts were desperate for that bonus-point yielding fourth try but a horror pass from Lydon on the right prevented Durutalo from racing clear to score. That error mattered not, however, as the full-back sliced through the Jersey defence soon after to claim the bonus. He converted with ease.
The scoreboard clock had long ticked beyond the 80 minutes but, because of all the injuries, there was time for a consolation score for the Reds through Tom Pincus.