Ealing Trailfinders brought down the curtain on a memorable 2016-17 Greene King IPA Championship season in fine style with their first win away to Yorkshire Carnegie and their first win on a Friday night.

They left it late to win, but when it came it came in spectacular style. In the last play the team ran the ball the length of the pitch, from behind their own try-line to finish with Luke Peters powering his way over in the corner.

The move went through 26 phases, lasted four minutes, 23 seconds and covered 98m. There was a nervous wait as referee Tim Wigglesworth checked with the video referee, but when it came if allowed Ealing Trailfinders to peg back a Yorkshire Carnegie team who had scored all their points through the boot of the Leicester Tigers-bound fly-half Joe Ford.

While the winning score came in epic fashion, the result was founded on hard work, unity and another powerful showing from the pack who dominated their opposite numbers at the scrum and who won the first scrum against the head to set the tone for the rest of the evening.

Curtis Wilson put in a big hit on opposite wing Jonah Holmes to set the expected standard and then Alun Walker matched him with a strong carry into the Yorkshire defence to signal Ben Ward’s team’s intentions for the night.

Aaron Penberthy opened the scoring with a penalty after the Yorkshire pack were penalised for slowing the ball down and while the pack began to win penalties from the scrum, but despite twice kicking to the corner, Carnegie’s defence held out.

They then drew level when Ford kicked the first of his six penalties.

Ealing Trailfinders didn’t waste time to hit back though. Barney Maddison led a raid down the blindside and then off-loaded inside to Wilson, who finished the move for his second try in two weeks.

Ford landed another penalty for Yorkshire, but the half ended with Ealing Trailfinders camped on the host’s line. Three times they won a penalty from a scrum, but on the fourth the attack was snuffed out.

After half-time Yorkshire raised their intensity and Ford made it three from three early in the half. Will Harries then made a vital tackle on Holmes after he broke through and after Yorkshire flanker Ollie Steadman was sin-binned, Rayn Smid powered his way over to round off a good period of possession and territory for Ealing Trailfinders.

As the clock ticked past the hour mark Ealing Trailfinders’ fitness put them on top, but they were unable to find a way through scrambled Yorkshire defence. Ford’s fifth penalty drew them level and his sixth gave them the lead for the first time on the night.

With four minutes to go it appeared that the home side were on their way to their fifth victory in six meetings between the sides this season.

As the clock ticked into the red though, Ealing Trailfinders had one last chance and it was one they took in a fashion that will be talked about for many years to come.

Yorkshire Carnegie
Penalties (Ford 21, 32, 44, 50, 72, 76)
Ealing Trailfinders
Tries (Wilson 24, Smid 61, Peters 80), Conversions (Penberthy 24), Penalties (Penberthy 11)

Yorkshire Carnegie
Chris Elder, Jonah Holmes, Andy Forsyth, Peter Lucock, Steve McColl, Joe Ford, Alex Davies; Lewis Boyce, Phil Nilsen, Sione Faletau, Ben West, Matt Smith, Ollie Stedman, Richard Mayhew, Ryan Burrows (captain)
Mike Mayhew, Mike Cusack, Matt Beesley, Mike Myerscough, Richard Beck, Max Green, Max Wright

Ealing Trailfinders
Will Harries, Curtis Wilson, Luke Peters, Joe Munro, Lewis Jones, Aaron Penberthy, Luke Carter; James Gibbons, Alun Walker, Lewis Thiede, Barney Maddison, Glen Townson, Kieran Murphy, Arthur Ellis, Mark Bright (capt)
Rhys Lawrence, Will Davis, Alex Penny, Harry Casson, Rayn Smid, Chris York, Josh Davies

Referee – Tim Wigglesworth
Attendance – 2,216

Ealing Trailfinders were given a taste of what they will face in the Greene King IPA Championship play-offs when Yorkshire Carnegie ran in five tries at Headingley.

Ben Ward’s side will now take on Carnegie in the play-offs after London Irish’s 22-5 defeat of Doncaster Knights ensured Ealing Trailfinders finished in third place.

Vallis Way will host the first leg on Friday 29 April, with the return at Headingley on Friday 5 May.

Defences started on top in the first 10 minutes, though the two scrum-halves – Max Green and Luke Carter – both showed a glimpse of their quality with line breaks that their teams were unable to capitalise on.

Another break from Carnegie wing Oli Goss also brought the crowd to their feet, before Will Harries stopped him. Subsequent attempts by their pack to drive over were then thwarted, but flanker Richard Beck eventually forced his way through.

Phil Chesters sent Carnegie number 8 Brandon Staples back with a fierce hit from the restart and soon after Aaron Penberthy struck a penalty to close the gap.

Neither team were really into their stride, with error often compounding error, though Beck turned provider after charging down Luke Carter’s kick to set up James Thraves to score from close range.

Ealing Trailfinders began to build some momentum and after their pack tried its luck from the lineout without success, they turned to the scrum and promptly won a penalty try after driving Carnegie’s forwards backwards.

After half-time it was Carnegie’s pack that flexed their muscles and shunted prop Matt Beesley over for their third try.

Penberthy brought Ealing Trailfinders to within a converted try when he scored his second penalty soon after, but Carnegie hit back with a slick counter-attack that finished with Chris Elder setting Andy Forsyth free to give his team the bonus point.

Carnegie continued to hold a firm grip on the match and Mayhew displayed some lovely footwork to work his way through for his second score.

Chris York and Willie Ryan were held up as Ealing Trailfinders rallied in the latter stages, but Ryan eventually went over when he drove off the back of a scrum.

Yorkshire Carnegie
Tries (Beck 19, Thraves 33, Beesely 45, Mayhew 63, Forsyth 55), Conversions (Seals 19, 33, 55, 63)
Ealing Trailfinders
Tries (Penalty 38, Ryan 73), Conversions (Penberthy 38, Ryan 73), Penalties (Penberthy 27, 49)

Yorkshire Carnegie
Steve McColl, Chris Elder, Andy Forsyth, Pete Lucock, Oli Goss, Warren Seals, Max Green; Matt Beesley, Mike Mayhew, James Thraves, Dean Schofield, Dan Sanderson, Richard Beck, Andy Saull, Brandon Staples
Jordon Poole, Lewis Boyce, Mike Cusack, Jack Whetton, Mike Myerscough, Sam Allan, Tom Bullough

Ealing Trailfinders
Will Harries, Rhys Crane, Lewis Jones, Arthur Ellis, Phil Chesters, Aaron Penberthy, Luke Carter, James Gibbons, Alun Walker, Sam Rodman, Barney Maddison, Glen Townson, Chris York, Rayn Smid, Kieran Murphy
Rhys Lawrence, Will Davis, Lewis Thiede, Willie Ryan, Luke Peters, Josh Davies, Rory Clegg

Referee – Matthew O’Grady
Attendance – 1,362

Ealing Trailfinders won their second point of the season when they scored four tries away to Yorkshire Carnegie, who scored six of their own.

Nathan Hannay crossed on his first return to Headingley after moving to Vallis Way over the summer. Phil Chesters added the second, Danny Kenny the third and Rhys Crane dotted down the fourth with two minutes left on the clock.

It took just three minutes for the hosts to open the lead when Max Green set up long-serving winger David Doherty to run in the first points. Ealing Trailfinders hit back quickly and Alex Davies took advantage of some Carnegie ill-discipline to knock over two penalties to give the visitors the lead.

The scoring continued when fly-half Harry Leonard set fullback Jonah Holmes running for the second try, before number 8 Ryan Burrows found scrum-half Max Green to run in his first try for the club.

Ben Ward’s side regrouped and quickly found themselves with a man advantage after Burrows was yellow-carded. They closed the gap when former Carnegie man Hannay forced his way over from a tapped penalty and with Davies converting Ealing Trailfinders closed the gap to six points.

Holmes showed his class once again to set up centre Andy Forsyth to hold off his tacklers to score and secure the four-try bonus point. With Leonard converting Carnegie enjoyed a 26-13 lead at half-time.

It took time for both sides to find a breakthrough after the break, but it was the home side who ended the stalemate when Burrows raced away from the halfway line to send Seb Steggman over in the corner for his first try for the club.

Ealing Trailfinders fought back again when Phil Chesters regathered his chip ahead to open his account in the Championship. Charlie Beech then became the second Carnegie player to be sent to the sin-bin and the visitors took advantage when Danny Kenny touched down from the back of a rolling maul after a fine lineout catch by Llewelyn Jones.

Holmes then set up Phil Nilsen for Carnegie’s sixth, but the last word went to Ealing Trailfinders. Alun Walker dummied, fended and then found Crane who reached the line to ensure that for the second time in three weeks the west London side did not leave Yorkshire empty-handed.

Yorkshire Carnegie
Tries (Doherty, Holmes, Green, Forsyth, Stegmann, Nilsen), Conversions (Leonard x 5)
Ealing Trailfinders
Tries (Hannay, Kenny, Chesters, Crane), Conversions (Davies), Penalties (Davies x 2)

Yorkshire Carnegie
Jonah Holmes, Seb Stegmann, Andy Forsyth, James Fitzpatrick, David Doherty, Harry Leonard, Max Green; Lee Imiolek, Jack Walker, James Tideswell, Dean Schofield, Tom Ryder, Jarad Williams, Chris Walker, Ryan Burrows
Phil Nilsen, Charlie Beech, Rob O’Donnell, Mike Myerscough, Josh Bainbridge, Chris Pilgrim, Pete Lucock

Ealing Trailfinders
Will Harries, Rhys Crane, Chris Kinloch, Joe Munro, Phil Chesters, Tristan Roberts, Alex Davies; Will Davis, Matt Thompson, Michael Holford, Nathan Hannay, Llewelyn Jones, Danny Kenny, Arthur Ellis, Chris York (captain)
Jamie Kilbane, Alun Walker, Alex Penny, Adam Preocanin, Harrison Orr, Tom Bliss, Callum Wilson

Attendance – 1, 938
Referee – Greg MacDonald