Jonah Holmes crossed for a brace as Ealing Trailfinders powered to a 21-41 win over Nottingham at Lady Bay.
The league leaders scored seven tries to Nottingham’s three to romp to an impressive 20 point victory and maintain their six point lead at the top of the Championship table.
Trailfinders arrived at Lady Bay with plenty of confidence following last Saturday’s 66-0 win over London Scottish, but it was the hosts who took the early lead. Nottingham gained possession near their own try-line and spread the ball wide to winger Jordan Olowofela who broke through the Trailfinders defence to charge up the pitch and score. The try was converted and Nottingham led 7-0 after four minutes.
Nottingham’s early dominance only lasted three minutes. Prop Dan Richardson was shown a yellow card and the West Londoners took full advantage, passing quickly to fly-half Craig Willis who dotted down in the corner.
With the Trailfinders pack starting to build their dominance and with the backs finding their attacking flair (despite the muddy conditions), fullback Jonah Holmes collected a neat grubber kick to power over and score near the sticks. Willis added the extras and the visitors were out to a 7-12 lead after 20 minutes.
Five minutes later and it was extended to 7-19. Centre Max Bodilly charged down the Nottingham kick to collect possession and cross for Trailfinders’ third try. Willis converted and the visitors were starting to build momentum.
With the clock ticking over 30 minutes, Trailfinders set up for the attacking lineout. The forwards won possession and formed a formidable driving maul. The maul drove powerfully towards the Nottingham line with experienced hooker Alun Walker bulldozing his way over to extend Trailfinders’ lead to 7-24.
With the bonus point secured, Ealing Trailfinders were determined to maintain their dominance in the second 40. They shot out of the blocks quickly, working the ball into Nottingham territory before a fast break and neat pass saw prop Kyle Whyte stride in from 15 metres.
Facing an ever increasing margin, Nottingham showed their resilience hitting the scoreboard just four minutes later. Fly-half Sam Hollingsworth fired an impressive cross-field kick to winger Ryan Olowofela who collected the ball to dot down in the corner. Hollingsworth converted and the score was cut to 14-29.
With both sides looking to gain control in the middle phases of the second half, it took another 15 minutes before the next score. Trailfinders built attacking momentum before a lovely wide move saw Holmes slice through the Nottingham defence and cross for his second of the match. Willis slotted the conversion and the West Londoners were out to a 14-36 lead.
Ten minutes later and Nottingham reduced the deficit, adding their third try with a well worked score in the far corner. Hollingsworth converted to reduce the deficit to 21-36.
But with the clock ticking towards the red, it was Trailfinders who had the last laugh. With five minutes to go, replacement flanker Simon Uzokwe powered his way over to extend the lead to 21-41 and secure an impressive bonus point victory.
Ealing Trailfinders next home fixture is this Saturday 25th March against Cornish Pirates at Trailfinders Sports Club. Click here for tickets.