Hartpury RFC vs Ealing Trailfinders

Hartpury University v Ealing TrailfindersChampionship Cup
28 - 38
Full Time


Date Time League Season
February 18, 2023 7:45 pm Championship Cup 2022-2023


Match Report

Ealing Trailfinders booked their place in the Championship Cup knockout stages with a six try, 28-38 victory over Hartpury.

It was a game they were made to work for their victory, with the West Country side securing a bonus point of their own in what was a much improved performance compared to last week.

But after a shaky start, the Trailfinders bench made a real impact and late scores from Andrew Davidson and Jack Digby helped ensure their place at the top of the group.

As the game kicked-off under the Friday night lights at the ALPAS Arena, it was the hosts who started the better and it only took four minutes for Matthew McNab to find himself in space on the wing, before he put in a perfect chip and chase to regather to score.

It only took five minutes however for the visitors to respond, as strong carrying through the middle allowed David Douglas Bridge to burst through a gap before rounding the fullback for his first Trailfinders try.

Ten minutes later, Hartpury managed to get over for their second as quick hands allowed Jake Morris to score in the corner, before Tommy Mathews impressively added the extras from out wide.

The next ten minutes saw the West Londoners slowly wrestle back momentum, as they went back to one of their real strengths this season, the rolling maul. A penalty at the breakdown allowed Dan Lancaster to stick Trailfinders five metres out, before Alun Walker got an armchair ride over the line on the back of a dominant maul.

The visitors then got their third third try just moments later, as Jordan Burns took the ball out of the maul as it was moving forward and put in a well weighted grubber to allow Max Bodilly to dot down and make the score at half-time Hartpury 14-19 Ealing Trailfinders.

The second half started very similarly to the first, with the hosts coming out of the blocks quickly. It only took them five minutes to get back in front as after tying in the defence, Mathews put in an inch perfect cross field kick which allowed McNab to score in the corner.

It was a quick fire double at the start of the second 40 as an equally strong Hartpury maul saw replacement Luke Sranford secure the bonus point try just after the 50 minute mark as they raced into a 28-19 lead.

It was here that Trailfinders rung the changes, with new halfbacks and a new front-row all looking to help get them back in the game. It worked quickly with prop George Davis muscling over from close range just five minutes later.

On the hour mark, Hartpury dropped down a man as Sranford was sent to the bin for illegally collapsing the maul close to the line. This man advantage soon saw Davidson go over on his first Trailfinders start to put the visitors into the lead for the first time.

Then, with just under ten minutes remaining, Jack Digby crashed over on the back of another rolling maul to secure the victory.

YouTube player


The Alpas Arena
Moor End, Hartpury, Rudford, Forest of Dean District, Gloucestershire, South West England, England, GL19 3DF, United Kingdom