Ealing Trailfinders 13 v 14 Leinster ‘A’
January 17, 2014 / jmcconnell
Leinster ‘A’ notched their sixth successive win in the pool stages of the British & Irish Cup, as an early Darren Hudson try helped them defeat Ealing Trailfinders on Friday night…
Girvan Dempsey's men, already assured of a place in the last-eight, completed Pool 1 unbeaten as they edged out Ealing at Vallis Way.
The defending champions started with a bang and after Ealing stopped a number of their attacks, full-back Darren Hudson swooped on a loose ball to open the scoring.
Leinster 'A' continued on the attack, but stout Ealing defence held them out and when they threw a crooked lineout, Ben Ward was able to clear the danger.
Ealing’s defence continued to hold out the visitors' attack and after a strong carry from Sean O’Connell and good clearing work at the ruck by Tom Wheatcroft, Ward kicked Ealing's first points of the night.
Cathal Marsh landed a penalty of his own, before Ealing went back on the attack and while they were unable to find a way through the Leinster 'A' defence, Ward added his second penalty to close the gap to two points (8-6).
Ealing came out strongly after half-time, but after failing to add to their tally Leinster 'A; went on the offensive.
Winger Sam Coghlan Murray fumbled a pass with the try-line begging and from the scrum Ealing cleared and took the play back into the pool leaders' half.
The home scrum caused Leinster's pack a good deal of problems, but the province's well-drilled defence and a slippery ball meant that attacking positions were not always capitalised upon.
However, Ealing's defence stood tall when Leinster's backs had the chance to stretch their legs, notably Andrew Henderson who put in a mighty tackle to stop his opposite number Hudson from adding a second try.
Ronnie McLean also put in a try-aving tackle, but eventually Leinster 'A' added to their tally when number 10 Marsh kicked two penalties.
Ealing had the final say when Henderson took Ward's chip-kick and nudged the ball to the corner where Phil Chesters slid in to score. Ward's conversion made it a one-point game, but Leinster 'A' successfully hung on to extend their winning streak.
REFEREE: Craig Evans (WRU)
REPLACEMENTS: Samuel Wilkes, Steve Neville, Conor Carey, George Merrick, Thomas Anderson, Tom Parker, Chris Kinloch.
REPLACEMENTS NOT USED: Luke McGrath, Steve Crosbie.