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Match Report: Ealing Trailfinders 40 v Cornish Pirates 12

Ealing Trailfinders men increased their lead at the top of the Championship table with their 40-12 victory over Cornish Pirates at Trailfinders Sports Club on Saturday (10 February 2024).

A brace from James Cordy Redden and tries from Matt Cornish, Jonah Holmes, Reuben Bird-Tulloch and Dan O’Brien meant Trailfinders took all the points from this top-of-the-table clash.

The win leaves Trailfinders eight points clear at the top of the table with a game in hand on Pirates in second.

The match started perfectly for Trailfinders. A couple of early penalties against Pirates gave Billy Twelvetrees the opportunity to kick the Homeside down to the opposition 5m line, and Cornish opened the scoring from the back of the resulting maul.

The second came quickly after, as Jonah Holmes crashed over in the right corner to stretch the score to 14-0 in as many minutes with Twelvetrees’ conversion.

Pirates replied just three minutes later as the scorers struggled to keep up. Will Trewin latched onto the end of a Ruaridh Dawson break to score under the sticks.

Then Bird-Tulloch, on his 50th game in Green and White, carried hard from short range to score under the posts after a period of sustained Trailfinders pressure in the Pirates’ red zone.

Sustained pressure was the feauture of the next ten minutes of the game, as Trailfinders had chance after chance in opposition territory but failed to convert.

The pressure was somewhat self-inflicted by Pirates who kept giving penalties away, resulting in two yellow cards in the 31st and 34th minutes.

These sin-bins led to Cordy-Redden wrapping up the first-half bonus point just before halftime, meaning the two sides went into the shed with the scoreboard reading 26-7.

The second term would not start as quickly as the first with a few passes going to floor, but Pirates would make their job even harder as Joe Elderkin was yellow carded for a high tackle.

JCR would capitalise once more, as a lovely first-phase set play gave him an easy run down the left wing.

The Pirates then battled back well and managed to keep the ball much better than they had for the rest of the game. They went on to score in the 63rd minute, making the score 33-12.

Trailfinders then killed off the game with some brilliant line speed and a sensible kicking game, slowing the pace of the match.

The occasion was then capped off by O’Brien latching on to an Ollie Newman grubber hacked through into the backfield, leaving the final score 40-12.

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