For the second year in the row, Ealing Trailfinders were crowned Championship Cup Champions after a 35-31 victory over Jersey Reds at Trailfinders Sports Club.

A Jonah Holmes brace, followed by scores from Jack Digby, Max Bodilly and George Davis helped the Londoners retain the trophy.

They were however pushed hard by the league champions, as a late Ben Woollett double saw Jersey finish with a flourish.

With the atmosphere bubbling up nicely at kick-off, Trailfinders flew out of the blocks! After the rolling maul came up just short, they drew in all numbers, before Craig Hampson slung the ball wide for Holmes to score in the corner after ten minutes. Luke Daniels impressively added the extras from the touchline.

Jersey responded on the twenty minute mark, as Jordan Holgate burst through the defensive line and managed to bundle over despite an impressive covering tackle.

Just before the break, Trailfinders almost got their second, but Holmes was held up after Alun Lawrence was sent to the bin for repeated Jersey offsides.

The start of the second half was very similar to the first, as the hosts flew out of the blocks. It took them only five minutes to score their second try and it was almost a carbon copy of their first. As the maul came up short, the Londoners kept slowly picking and going, making precious meters each time. Then after the numbers were drawn him, Hampson found Holmes on the wing again as he barged over.

Now with a nine point lead, the hosts would have wanted to extend it, however Jersey had other ideas. A fast penalty saw them go to the corner and after their fake maul play came up short, TJ Harris was able to bundle over.

As the hour mark ticked round, tensions were beginning to rise, but a quick fire double from the Londoners helped them assert their authority on the final. First Jack Digby was able to crash over from close range, before a beautiful free flowing move saw Max Bodilly go in and out before rounding the fullback and scoring under the posts!

The Reds, did then respond quickly after they had created an overlap that allowed Woollett to stroll in on the left to make it a nine point game.

In a frantic final ten minutes, George Davis managed to muscle over to extend the hosts’ lead but then Ryan Hutler hit back with another Jersey score.

With the clock moving into the red, Woollett added his second after an incredible length of the field effort, but ultimately it wasn’t enough as the Trailfinders were deservedly crowned champions.

Victorious Director of Rugby Ben Ward said: “I’m absolutely delighted for the boys to get that result.

“After the disappointment of three weeks ago, I think we needed this trophy more than they did and I’m so proud of all the players and staff.

“A word needs to go to Jersey for how well they’ve done this year, they’ve pushed us to be better and I’m looking forward to our battle next year.”

The Bread Street Kitchen & Bar Player of the Match was awarded to Luke Daniels.

The club would like to thank you for all your support throughout the season, in all 34 matches from Biarritz away in preseason, all the way through to today’s final! We look forward to seeing you again next season!


T: Holmes 11’, 44’, Digby 62’, Bodilly 66’, G. Davis 73’

C: Daniels 11’, 44’, 62’ 66’, 73

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Braces for Reuben Bird-Tulloch and Jonah Holmes saw Ealing Trailfinders cruise past Doncaster Knights 32-0 in the semi-final of the Championship Cup.

The victory now sets up a mouthwatering final against Jersey Reds, as the two best teams in the league go head to head for one last time this season.

After a scrappy start, which wasn’t helped by the torrential early conditions, Dan Lancaster worked some magic to create the first score after eight minutes. The fly-half put in a beautiful grubber behind the Doncaster defensive line which allowed Reuben Bird-Tulloch to kick it through before then diving on the ball to dot down. The extras were added by Luke Daniels on the day of his 100th appearance.

Over the next 20 minutes, Doncaster did well to stifle the host’s momentum, so after repeated kicks to the corner that were unsuccessful, Trailfinders settled for a penalty on the 25 minute mark to stretch their lead to two scores.

With the half hour mark approaching, Doncaster still hadn’t learnt their lesson about covering in behind! Lancaster this time chose to chip it, and Jonah Holmes didn’t even have to break stride as he regathered! The Welsh international fended off the fullback before scoring under the sticks.

Less than five minutes later, the hosts were in again! After great build-up play from the forwards, the ball found its way to Bird-Tulloch. The centre was able to jink inside and out to beautifully dot down for his brace.

With the clock running down in the first half Daniels added another penalty to make it Ealing Trailfinders 27-0 Doncaster Knights at the break.

After such an exciting first-half from the host’s perspective, the opening to the second 40 was much more muted. There were no scores during the opening twenty minutes, which saw Ollie Newman first sent to the bin for Trailfinders, and then Conor Davidson and then Jake Armstrong replaced him for the visitors shortly afterwards, after repeated penalties at the scrum.

Now down to 13 men, the Trailfinders really turned the screw. After winning the scrum against the head, the ball found it’s way to Holmes on the wing who looked to muscle over for his second. Initially it looked like the Knights were able to hold him up, but the winger did well to reach out and dot down to claim Trailfinders’ fourth try of the afternoon.

With ten minutes left to play, Doncaster threatened to claim a consolation score but the hosts did well to keep them out and make the full time score: Ealing Trailfinders 32-0 Doncaster Knights.

Victorious Director of Rugby Ben Ward said: “I thought the energy and application from our players was fantastic, the scrum was really strong and I thought we won those battles on the floor.

“I think we’re all really excited to face Jersey next season, it’s the two best teams in the league going head to head and it should be a cracker!”

You can watch the full interview with Ben Ward.

Full information about next weekend’s final and the details on date, time and location will be relayed ASAP, please keep an eye on our social media channels!

Full-time score: Ealing Trailfinders 32-0 Doncaster Knights


T: Bird-Tulloch 8, 33, Holmes 29, 71

C: Daniels 8, 29, 33

P: Daniels 25, 38


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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.

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A sensational first-half blitz saw the West Londoners secure the bonus point within 25 minutes and the 11-try victory now sees the Trailfinders return to the top of the pool 1.

The hosts came out of the blocks fast, with Cian Kelleher getting on the end of a beautifully weighted Dan Lancaster kick after just three minutes.

Then Walker scored two tries in ten minutes, both on the back of a rolling maul as the forwards looked to dominate the Archers.

On the 20 minute mark, the visitors managed to get on the scoresheet through Ryan Olowofela after Michael Stronge took a quick tap penalty and allowed the winger to run onto his grubber in behind.

But Trailfinders answered straight back as Uzokwe managed to secure the bonus point. Trailfinders’ fifth try was one of the best of the afternoon, as Steven Shingler regathered a chip in behind. As he was being tackled he threw a no look, reverse offload to put Reuben Bird-Tulloch under the sticks.

Bird-Tulloch then turned provider as he burst through the middle before offloading to Jordan Burns to score under the posts. Then with five minutes to go before the break, another well weighted Lancaster kick found Jonah Holmes to dot down in the corner.

On the stroke of half-time Will Montgomery crashed over for score number eight to make it Ealing Trailfinders 52-7 Nottingham.

The second-half saw a much improved Nottingham performance, but still they were unable to stop Kyle Whyte from crashing over five minutes into the half.

The next half-an-hour saw the game tighten up somewhat, as the defence from both sides got on top of the attack. It was on the 71st minute mark that this deadlock was broken again, as Max Bodilly spotted space in behind as he regathered his own kick to score.

With five minutes to go, Nottingham got their second score through Michael Green, as the centre bundled over after a strong rolling maul had come up just short.

Then, with time almost up, Uzokwe muscled over for his second to make the final score: Ealing Trailfinders 71-14 Nottingham.

Victorious Director of Rugby Ben Ward said: “I’m really pleased. After two defeats this sees us get back on track and I’m really satisfied both with the result and with our performance.”

Full-time Score: Ealing Trailfinders 71-14 Nottingham

T: Kelleher 3′, Walker 8′, 17′, Uzokwe 25′, 78′, Bird-Tulloch 30′, Burns 33′, Holmes 36′, Montgomery 40′, Whyte 45′, Bodilly 71′

C: Shingler 3′, 18′, 25′, 30, Lancaster 33′, 40′, 45′, 71′

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Ealing Trailfinders came agonisingly close to achieving the ultimate comeback in Jersey, but ultimately fell 28-27 to the Reds.

From being 21-0 down just before the break, tries from Alun Walker and Craig Hampson got them back in the game, before Nathan Earle edged the visitors in front.

Jersey then answered back, but Jordan Burns’ late try gave Trailfinders the chance to win it, but the conversion from out wide went just wide.

Despite this, Ealing Trailfinders Director of Rugby said: “I can’t fault the effort in that second-half and I’m really proud of how we responded.”

In this huge clash at the top of Pool 1, it was Trailfinders who started the faster of the two sides, with some early dominance at the scrum and a very impressive rolling maul which marched them 20m up the pitch before winning a penalty.

Sadly, this early pressure couldn’t be converted into points, as slowly Jersey found a foothold in the encounter.

With it still scoreless after 20 minutes, it was anyone’s guess as to who would cross first with both sides making as many errors as they did breaks.

This didn’t last long however, as on the 22nd minute Jersey’s James Hadfield was able to get over for the hosts from close range. Then just five minutes later, James Dun dotted down before Ben Woollett was on the end of a nice free flowing move to grab Jersey’s third, five minutes from half-time.

With the clock in the red, Jersey’s Sean O’Connor was sent to sin-bin for a shoulder off the ball. This allowed Craig Willis to put the ball 15 metres out and for Trailfinders to set up their rolling maul. With some real steam behind it, Walker was able to get over and Willis converted from the touchline to make it 21-7 at half-time.

The second 40 saw a real change in attitude, as to a man Trailfinders fought to get back into the contest. Strong carries and quick ball eventually allowed Hampson to snipe around the fringes of a ruck and despite an attempted tap-tackle, he dotted down under the sticks. Willis converted and it was 21-14.

After this fast start, Jersey were always going to come back. Repeated team maul infringements saw James Gibbons go to the sin bin, but crucially Trailfinders refused to allow Jersey the score, as they managed to hold the hosts up over the line.

From this the green and whites regathered their composure, and went on to win a scrum against the head with only seven forwards on the pitch.

With an hour on the clock, Trailfinders threw the ball around and managed to win a penalty 40 metres out and Willis made no mistake in converting.

With one passage of play left until Gibbons returned, Jersey went on the attack in an attempt to make their extra man pay. But after turning the ball over inside their own half, Trailfinders launched a superb free flowing passage of play. Will Davis was released down the blindside and he passed to his front-row counterpart Kevin O’Byrne. The hooker then played an outrageous no-look, switch pass to James Cordy-Redden who in turn found Nathan Earle, who rounded the final defender to score his first Trailfinders try. The conversion just sailed wide but the score put the visitors 21-22 in front, just as they returned to 15 men.

The next 15 minutes saw the game tighten up somewhat as the clock ticked closer and closer to the end of the game. Then with five minutes to go, Dan Barnes was put through a hole to score under the posts and leave the hosts six points in front.

Despite this setback, Trailfinders remained composed, slowly working their way up the pitch. After a breathtaking passage of play, the ball found its way to Jordan Burns who was playing out of position on the wing. With just a half-yard of space, he put on the afterburners and managed to scorch in and score in the corner with the clock in the red. Willis then stepped up to snatch the win, but agonisingly it sailed just wide.


Full-time Score: Jersey Reds 28-27 Ealing Trailfinders

T: Walker 40′, Hampson 47, Earle 63′, Burns 80′

C: Willis 40′, 47′

P: Wills 61′


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Two early second half scores were the difference as we defeated a high flying Jersey Reds team 22-13 at Trailfinders Sports Club in the Championship Cup.

A first half penalty try was quickly cancelled out by a James Scott score for the Reds, but two Russell Bennett penalties saw the visitors ahead at the break.

But after coming out of the blocks quickly in the second 40, Shaun Malton scored on the back of a maul before Pat Howard muscled over from close range to help ensure we made ten wins from ten this season.

Jersey came into the game high on confidence, having also won all of their games so far this season, and they took the lead early as Bennett slotted a penalty in front of the posts.

We answered back immediately however, after turning down a very kickable shot at goal and going to the corner. We set up a powerful rolling maul that would have crashed over, had it not been for the illegal intervention of Bennett. The referee agreed, and ran under the sticks to award a penalty try before sending Bennett to the bin.

Just as we edged in front, Jersey took the lead straight back as Scott scored after being on the end of a Jersey overlap.

Given the fast scoring nature of the game, it is not surprising it took only five more minutes for Craig Willis to slot a penalty to level things up 13-13 after a quarter of an hour.

Although there were no scores for the next 15 minutes, we came incredibly close on multiple occasions. In particular one beautiful, free flowing move between Rayn Smid, Carlo Tizzano and Craig Hampson saw us come agonisingly close but a tap tackle just denied us 5m from the line.

On the half hour mark, Bennett added another penalty to see the Reds retake the lead and despite both sides trying their upmost, neither could add anything extra and the half-time score was Ealing Trailfinders 10-13 Jersey Reds.

After a first 40 where Ben Ward said he thought Jersey “outworked us,” we came out at the start of the second half with a real point to prove. An early penalty saw us again turndown the points to go to the corner and it paid off again as Shaun Malton was bundled over on the back of a 13-man rolling maul.

Despite having just scored, we didn’t want to give Jersey the chance for a quick reply and so we kept up the tempo and we were rewarded for it. After working our way up the pitch, we were awarded a 5m scrum. Despite not having a run up, Pat Howard somehow managed to bundle over from close range, while taking three Jersey defenders over with him. With Willis adding the extras, the score was extended to see us with a 22-13 lead.

As the game continued, the match got more and more physical, with more and more big shots going in as tempers threatened to boil over.

Although Jersey may have been the better side in the final 20 minutes of the game, our defence and in particular our maul defence was superb as we continued to repel the Reds as we refused to allow our try line to be breached.

The final play of the game saw Jersey with a 5m line out and although the win was already confirmed, we refused to allow the visitors to get a score which would have given them a losing bonus point. Full-time score: Ealing Trailfinders 22-13 Jersey Reds.


T: Penalty Try 7′, Malton 44′, Howard 49′

C: Willis 49′

P: Willis 15′

Bread Street Player of the Match: Jonah Holmes

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Four powerful rolling maul tries helped us make it nine wins out of nine this season, after a tough fought 19-26 win in the Championship Cup at Nottingham.

Despite eventually getting the result, Nottingham raced out to a 12-0 lead after two early tries. But then three unanswered scores saw us move into the lead.

The hosts did level it up just after the hour mark, but we were able to score our fourth and bonus point try ten minutes from time to ensure we left The Bay with the full five points.

After a respectful and well observed minutes silence, in which each captain laid a poppy wreath as part of Remembrance Sunday, the game got underway.

It was somewhat of a disappointing first 40, as the hosts came out of the blocks the faster of the two sides. Early pressure saw our defence put into effect from the outset, but we stood firm after soaking up multiple phases.

Although we had a poor start, we should have actually scored the first try of the game. A great line break saw us execute a 2-on-1 which put Jack Metcalf in sight of scoring. The fullback closed in on the try line, but as he dived the Nottingham defender managed to knock the ball free and the scoreboard remained unchanged.

We were very quickly made to rue this missed opportunity, as Nottingham scored the first try of the game just before the quarter of the hour. After strong play in the centre, Morgan Bunting put in an effective cross-field kick to find David Williams in the corner.

Five minutes later, they had their second, as Bunting himself was able to take advantage of the overlap and get over in the same corner that Williams had just scored in.

Despite these two scores, we were able to stay composed and went back to one area of the game that has been a real strength of ours all season, the rolling maul. With a line out just outside the Nottingham 22, the maul was able to march forward 15m, before Simon Uzokwe broke off and powerfully bundled over.

The rest of the half saw both sides doing as many bad things as they did good, and although each had opportunities to score again, neither of them were able to take them. Half-time score: Nottingham 12-5 Ealing Trailfinders.

Although the second half also saw us again start slower than we’d have liked, quickly we were on the front foot again. A strong kick chase saw us regain possession just outside the Nottingham 22. Slowly we were able to move forward, fighting for every inch but getting them nonetheless. Just as we came within striking distance of the try line, our final surge forward saw a Nottingham player get underneath the ball and we were agonisingly held up.

This reprieve for Nottingham only lasted five minutes, as just after the 50 minute mark, Carlo Tizzano crossed for his first try of the game after the rolling maul had come up short just a few phases earlier.

As the hour mark approached Tizzano completed his brace, this time on the back of a 12-man rolling maul, as we edged into the lead for the first time in the game.

This lead didn’t last for long however, as Nottingham scored back just two minutes later. The hosts won a penalty just inside our half and they took it quickly. Spotting space in behind they kicked through but it unfortunately deflected off our defender and straight into the hands of Jordan Olowofela who ran in unopposed.

With ten minutes to go it looked like the game might have been heading for a draw, but another huge rolling maul saw us grab the bonus point and decisive score as Jan-Henning Campher dotted down.

Despite being put under some pressure in the closing stages, we were able to close out the match.

Director of Rugby Ben Ward said: “Sometimes you just have to find a way to win and today was one of those occasions. Credit has to go to Nottingham for putting us under so much pressure, but I’m pleased to be coming away with all five points.

Nottingham 19-26 Ealing Trailfinders

T: Uzokwe 22’, Tizzano 52’, 59’, Campher 79’

C: Willis 52’, 59’, 70’

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A strong display saw us get our defence of the Championship Cup off to the perfect start as we ran out 64-10 over Hartpury University.

A good first half performance helped us wrap up the bonus point inside the first 40, including Bread Street Player of the Match Jack Grant scoring one of the best tries we’ll score all season.

After the break Simon Uzokwe scored a second half hat trick as many players put their hands up for selection ahead of next weekend’s game in Nottingham.

After a slightly slower start, we managed to get the scoring started on the twelfth minute after repeated Hartpury penalties gave us both field position and momentum. Some good pressure looked like it had put Will Davis over, but the prop was judged to have knocked on before scoring. Fortunately we had penalty advantage, and after a quick tap penalty, Grant was able to tie in the defenders before offloading to Jack Metcalf who muscled over.

Just as the scoreboard has been updated, it had to be changed again as we scored our second immediately from the restart! Jack Digby made a superb break through the first line of defence before drawing the final man and offloading to Grant who was able to scuttle in for our second.

Our third try came through a powerful ten-man rolling maul with Digby popping up with the score but the best try of the day came just before half-time through our Aussie scrum-half!

With a minute left in the half, Grant collected a loose kick deep inside our half. He faked to kick initially, before side stepping the first man. He then beat another player, before dummying the final pass to run in under neath the posts. Lancaster converted to make the half-time score: Ealing Trailfinders 24-0 Hartpury University.

Unlike the first half, it only took five minutes for us to get on the score board in the second. Uzokwe scored a great solo try, firstly charging down the box kick, before regathering and then running over the last defender before dotting down!

Five minutes later he was in again! Some great offloading in the midfield from Metcalf and Grant almost set the scrum-half up for his hat trick, but with the try line beckoning, he unselfishly offloaded to Uzokwe.

It took only four minutes for us to score again as Dan Lancaster threaded through a sublime grubber kick to see Jack Metcalf grab his second in the corner.

After a few rocky weeks defensively, overall things were much better today but Hartpury were able to cross twice, both on the back of rolling mauls. George Denty got the first after the maul created an overlap while Will Tanner got their second five minutes later.

Despite this, we got back on track shortly after as Jordan Burns sniped around the edge of the ruck after good build up play between himself and Cam Terry.

Just as the scoreboard looked like it might be finished for the day, Cian Kelleher snapped up a loose Hartpury pass and kicked in behind. He got to the ball first and kicked ahead again, but just as it looked like he had just put too much on it, he somehow managed to dot the ball down just before it went dead.

With the clock in the red, Uzokwe managed to crash over to complete his hat trick and grab our tenth of the game.

Full-time Score: Ealing Trailfinders 64-10 Hartpury University

T: Metcalf 12’, 55’, Grant 12’, 39’, Digby 25’, Uzokwe 45’, 51’, 80’, Burns 69’, Kelleher 76

C: Lancaster 12’, 39’, 45’, Shingler 51’, 69’, 76’, 80’

Bread Street Player of the Match: Jack Grant

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