Ealing Trailfinders left The Bay as 38-26 victors after a scrappy encounter on a cold and wet Friday in Nottingham.

A brace from Richard Hardwick, along with tries from Mike Willemse, Will Goodrick-Clarke and Max Bodilly, capped off Trailfinders’ fourth win in as many games, continuing their perfect start to the Championship.

They remain at the top of the table and look ahead to next week when they host fellow title contenders Coventry at TFSC.

It was a cagey opening. The slick Midlands pitch dictated that both sides would kick first rather than put the ball through the hands.

The fans who braved the low November temperatures had to wait until the 18th minute for the first points to be scored.

David Williams crossed untouched in the corner after an intricate set play, giving the archers a seven-point lead.

The points deficit would wake up Trailfinders, who had looked sluggish until this point. Willemse crashed over at the back of a maul to level the scores after Craig Willis’ conversion.

Trailfinders quickly scored again in the tight five; this time, Goodrick-Clarke crashed over from close range.

From there, the travelling outfit looked to flex their muscles. Josh Taylor thunderously crashed the ball up in midfield and repeatedly broke the gain line. That go-forward led to Hardwick’s first try of the game, leaving the score 21-7 heading into halftime.

However, that would not be all for the first period, as Williams scored his second straight from the resulting kickoff, leaving the score 21-14 at the break.

The second half started with Hardwick’s second score of the game. Picking and going, he continued the theme of simple but effective tries for Trailfinders.

In contrast, The Archers would prefer to cross the line more flamboyantly. Jonah Holmes was binned for an intentional knock-on, leaving the away side short in the backfield. A clinical chip and chase from a scrum on the halfway line sent Williams under the sticks untouched for his hat-trick.

Yet another pick-and-go from Trailfinders kept Nottingham at arm’s length, and a Willis penalty kick seemed to cap off a fine performance.

Nottingham were not done yet though; Williams finished a classy move by collecting a crosskick, scoring his fourth try of the day.

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.

Tickets are on sale for next Saturday’s Championship fixture against Cornish Pirates at Trailfinders Sports Club (KO 3pm). Click here to purchase tickets. To book our delicious pre-match hospitality email: hospitality@etprm.com.

Full-time Score: Nottingham 21-41 Ealing Trailfinders

T: Willis 8′, Holmes 19′, 61′, Bodilly 25′, Walker 31′, Whyte 42′, Uzokwe 75′

C: Willis 19′, 25′, 62′

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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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Ealing Trailfinders made the perfect start to the new Greene King IPA Championship season as they recorded a thunderous 52-3 victory over Nottingham at Lady Bay.

Ben Ward’s men scored eight tries in total in a dominant display to register a bonus point win on the opening day of the campaign.

Guy Thompson, Fraser Strachan, Angus Kernohan and Harry Casson all crossed the line whilst Alun Walker and Craig Hampson both scored twice in a memorable victory.

A relentless first half display gave them the platform to secure the win, as they had the four-try bonus point wrapped up in the opening 35 minutes.

Ward’s side came flying out of the blocks and Jack Tovey was inches from scoring inside three minutes. The centre picked a great line in the midfield and it looked like he had the pace to cruise over, but a last ditch tap tackle meant it remained scoreless.

They didn’t have to wait long though for the opening try, as Guy Thompson scored four minutes later. With possession on the half way line, a fizzed pass created an overlap on the left hand side, and the back-rower dummied past the final defender before racing clear from 25 metres to dive over the line. Craig Willis’ impressive conversion but his side 7-0 ahead.

Nottingham then got on the scoreboard as Alex Dolly kicked a penalty from in front of the posts, but the West Londoners them dominated the rest of the first half to pull away from their opponents.

A sequence of penalties took them to within 10 metres of the try-line, and then in trademark fashion Alun Walker pounced at the back of the rolling maul to open his account for the season and extend the lead to nine points.

The hosts were then looking for a way back in to the match, but their ambition caught them out as Craig Hampson sniffed out an interception on the half way line and he couldn’t be caught to dot down under the posts. Willis added the extras, giving the visitors a 19-3 lead with 25 minutes on the clock.

The bonus point then came five minutes before half time as Fraser Strachan stepped his way to the line. Sustained pressure in the 22 meant that the Green and Whites were edging closer, before Willis’ powerful pass gave Strachan the perfect timing and he wouldn’t be stopped from 10 metres out. The conversion gave the Trailfinders a 26-3 lead as half time approached.

A big carry from James Cordy Redden on the wing nearly set Strachan up for his second try in the last play of the half, but he was penalised for holding on and Ward’s men headed down the tunnel with a convincing lead after a highly encouraging opening 40 minutes at Lady Bay.

The second half started in the same fashion as the first, with the Trailfinders enjoying the majority of possession. A penalty was kicked in to the 22, and then after a few phases Alun Walker carried and had too much power for the Nottingham defence. The conversion meant the lead was now up to 30 points.

The bench was then emptied for the final quarter, and to the delight of the coaches the intensity went up a level as the performance continued to improve.

Angus Kernohan’s brilliant individual finish on the right wing secured try number six on the hour. The ball was spun wide to the former Ulsterman, and he bumped his way over two scrambling defenders before diving in the corner to score.

It kept getting better for the Trailfinders, and they scored again just five minutes later as Hampson crossed for his second. Harry Casson picked an outstanding line in the midfield and looked as if he would score himself, but he popped it up to the scrum-half who could dive over from close range. Steven Shingler added the extras to take the lead above 40.

There was still time for one more try before the end, and Casson got a deserved try with just five minutes left to round off the win in style. Again he found himself in space after an aggressive carry, and this time he had no defenders in front of him as he sprinted to the line from 15 metres out to score a very popular try amongst the squad. Shingler’s conversion confirmed a monstrous 52-3 victory, and gave the West Londoners a mightily impressive start.

They welcome Ampthill to Trailfinders Sports Club next Saturday for Round Two, and will be looking for more of the same as they aim to build on a fantastic start.


15 Jack Stapley 14 Joe Carpenter 13 Will Millett 12 Joe Bedlow 11 Joe Browning 10 Tom Curtis 9 Alex Dolly 1 Toby Williams 2 Jake Farnworth 3 Karl Garside 4 Jac Price 5 Luke Frost 6 Kieran Curran 7 Carl Kirwan 8 Jordan Coghlan


16 Aniseko Sio 17 Shaun Evans 18 Harri O’Connor 19 Jack Ramshaw 20 Willie Ryan 21 Josh Poullet 22 Michael Stronge 23 Charlie Thacker


Penalties: Alex Dolly (10 minutes)

Ealing Trailfinders:

15 David Johnston (replaced by Luke Daniels, 65 mins) 14 Angus Kernohan 13 Jack Tovey 12 Fraser Strachan 11 James Cordy Redden 10 Craig Willis (replaced by Steven Shingler, 60 mins) 9 Craig Hampson (replaced by Jordan Burns, 70 mins) 1 Will Davis (replaced by Kyle Whyte, 48 mins) 2 Alun Walker (replaced by Shaun Malton, 48 mins) 3 Elliot Millar Mills (replaced by Johannes Jonker, 48 mins) 4 Bobby de Wee 5 James Cannon (replaced by Harry Casson, 55 mins) 6 Kieran Murphy 7 Guy Thompson 8 Rayn Smid (c) (replaced by Shane Buckley, 65 mins)


16 Shaun Malton 17 Kyle Whyte 18 Johannes Jonker 19 Harry Casson 20 Shane Buckley 21 Jordan Burns 22 Steven Shingler 23 Luke Daniels


Tries: Guy Thompson (7 minutes) Alun Walker (16, 47 minutes) Craig Hampson (25, 65 minutes) Fraser Strachan (35 minutes) Angus Kernohan (60 minutes) Harry Casson (73 minutes)

Conversions: Craig Willis (7, 25, 35, 47 minutes) Steven Shingler (65, 73 minutes)

Match Officials:

Referee: Jake Makepeace

Assistant Referees: Nick Wood & Lionel Spooner

Fourth Official: Tim Allatt

Half Time Score: Nottingham 3-26 Ealing Trailfinders

Ealing Trailfinders started the New Year with a hard fought win, beating Nottingham 18-10 at Lady Bay.

The West Londoners controlled the game and were deserved winners as they ground down their opponents before Reon Joseph crossed for two tries in quick succession to seal the victory.

The Trailfinders started with plenty of intent despite the tricky conditions and got straight on the front foot with just five minutes on the clock. Steven Shingler kicked a penalty from in front of the posts to give the visitors a 3-0 lead, and for the remainder of the first half there was nothing between the sides with most of the game played in the middle third.

A five metre scrum on the half hour mark gave the visitors the perfect platform to extend their advantage and after four penalties were awarded it appeared that a penalty try was inevitable, however the ball was then spun wide and Nottingham managed to escape.

Ben Ward’s side had 68% of the possession in the first half but struggled to convert that dominance in to points, and Nottingham were rewarded for their persistence in defence with a penalty just before the break, with Shane O’Leary making it 3-3 at half-time.

The Trailfinders then burst in to life in the early stages of the second half to take control of the game with two tries in four minutes from Reon Joseph.

A stolen lineout saw Jordan Els on the charge in attack, and Rayn Smid then broke through the defence and combined with Pat Howard before releasing Joseph on the left wing who used his pace to dive over in the corner. The conversion went wide, but from the restart another try was scored to give the visitors breathing space.

With possession deep in the Nottingham half, the ball went through the hands all the way to Joseph again who stepped past the defender to score again. This time the conversion from Shingler sailed through the posts, putting them 15-3 up with 25 minutes remaining.

The game then started to open up in the final quarter but the Trailfinders stuck to their game plan and despite Alun Walker going to the sin bin they kept their try-line intact.

Shingler added another penalty to edge his men further ahead, but Nottingham made it a nail-biting final 10 minutes after a length of the field try from Sean Scanlon.

With a lineout on their own line they broke and then went through the hands impressively, allowing the full-back to run clear with a try of the season contender. O’Leary’s conversion cut the deficit to eight points with as many minutes left on the clock.

Just as the hosts looked for another route back in to the match a crucial penalty allowed the Trailfinders to play the final five minutes deep in the Nottingham half. They kept the ball before Walker smashed it in to the stands, confirming a first ever win at Lady Bay and a much-needed victory to start the year in style.


15 Sean Scanlon 14 David Williams 13 Will Millett 12 Luke Peters 11 Ben Foley 10 Shane O’Leary 9 Murray McConnell © 1 Aniseko Sio 2 Luke Cole 3 Ben Betts 4 Llewelyn Jones 5 Danny Qualter 6 Seb Cecil 7 Will Owen 8 Tui Uru


16 Jake Farnworth 17 Jamie Jack 18 Oisin Heffernan 19 Tom Holmes 20 Josh Poullet 21 Alex Dolly 22 Harrt Strong 23 Jack Spittle


Tries: Sean Scanlon (70 minutes)

Conversions: Shane O’Leary (70 minutes)

Penalties: Shane O’Leary (40 minutes)

Ealing Trailfinders:

15 Tommy Bell 14 Elijah Niko 13 David Johnston 12 Pat Howard 11 Reon Joseph 10 Steven Shingler 9 Craig Hampson 1 Jordan Els (replaced by Jake Ellwood, 70 mins) 2 Alun Walker 3 Elliot Millar Mills (replaced by Craig Trenier, 68 mins) 4 Dave McKern 5 Harry Casson 6 Kieran Murphy (replaced by Tom Crozier, 60 mins) 7 Jordy Reid 8 Rayn Smid (c)


16 Tom Crozier 17 Jake Ellwood 18 Craig Trenier 19 Sam Dickinson 20 Ben West 21 Jordan Burns 22 Lewis Jones 23 Shane Buckley


Tries: Reon Joseph (49, 53 minutes)

Conversions: Steven Shingler (53 minutes)

Penalties: Steven Shingler (5, 63 minutes)

Yellow Card: Alun Walker

Referee: Alex Thomas

Half Time Score: Nottingham 3-3 Ealing Trailfinders

Ealing Trailfinders saw their seven-match winning run come to an end after a disappointing 42-27 defeat to Nottingham at Lady Bay.

Ben Ward’s side held a narrow 24-22 lead at half time but they were undone in the second half as the hosts rampaged their way to a comprehensive win.

A topsy turvy first half saw the lead change hands a number of times, and the first points of the match came from Jack Spittle as he put Nottingham in front. A lineout on half way went through the hands and the ball found it’s way to the winger who was able to beat the final defender to score in the corner. The conversion went wide, and that seemed to galvanise the visitors as they sparked straight back in to life.

They gathered the re-start and went through over 30 phases of pick and go’s to inch their way towards the line. Jordy Reid was then able to carry over from close range to dot the ball down under the posts. Peter Lydon converted to put his side 7-5 in front.

Nottingham then re-took the lead just three minutes later with another counter attack try, this time from Murray McConnell. A line break saw them get behind the defence and a smart offload found the scrum-half who had the pace to run clear. Former Trailfinder Shane O’Leary converted, before kicking a penalty five minutes later to extend their lead to eight points.

The West Londoners then got back in to the match on the half hour mark with a try from Kieran Murphy. With play moving towards the 22, the flanker picked up at the able of a ruck and bulldozed his way past the defenders before running through to score in impressive fashion. Lydon again converted to cut the deficit to just a point.

In frustrating fashion Nottingham were next on the scoreboard just when it seemed like the Trailfinders were taking control. A clearing kick from the visitors ricocheted off a Nottingham body and bounced up in to the hands of Will Millett who had the pace to run away from over 50 metres. O’Leary added the extras before Ben Ward’s men then rallied to take the lead at the end of the first half.

With play deep in the Nottingham 22 the Trailfinders again went through the phases, and Craig Willis stepped his way past the final defender to score their third try. Lydon converted, and also kicked a penalty with the final play of the half to give his side a 24-22 lead at the break.

Ryan Foley kicked the first points of the second half with a drop goal to extend the lead to five points, but from then on Nottingham dominated as the visitors looked unrecognisable from their recent form.

O’Leary kicked a penalty as they cut the deficit to two points, and then they went in front on the hour mark as Jack Spittle scored his second of the match as he intercepted from 80 metres before racing under the posts. O’Leary added the extras, and they then scored again with 15 minutes remaining to take control.

A number of penalties moved them up towards the try-line, and then a driving maul powered over to allow Jake Farnworth to dot down to put the result beyond doubt. O’Leary took his personal tally up to 17 points with a drop goal on the 75th minute as Nottingham went over the 40 point mark to celebrate an impressive win at Lady Bay.


15. Sean Scanlon 14. Jack Spittle 13. Will Millett 12. Luke Peters 11. Billy Robinson 10. Shane O’Leary 9. Murray McConnell (c) 1. James Penman 2. Luke Cole 3. Rory Burke 4. Cameron Dolan 5. Llewelyn Jones 6. Seb Cecil 7. Jordan Coghlan 8. Josh Poullet


16. Jake Farnworth 17. Jamie Jack 18. Oisin Heffernan 19. George Cox 20. Will Owen 21. Darryl Veenendaal 22. David Williams


Tries: Jack Spittle (11, 57 minutes) Murray McConnell (20 minutes) Will Millett (31 minutes) Jake Farnworth (69 minutes)

Conversions: Shane O’Leary (20, 31, 57, 69 minutes)

Penalties: Shane O’Leary (27, 54 minutes)

Drop Goal: Shane O’Leary (75 minutes)

Ealing Trailfinders:

15 Peter Lydon 14 Segundo Tuculet 13 Guy Armitage 12 Pat Howard 11 James Cordy Redden 10 Craig Willis (replaced by Sam Olver, 55 mins) 9 Ryan Foley (replaced by Jordan Burns, 70 mins) 1 Jake Ellwood (replaced by Alex Lundberg, 60 mins) 2 Matt Cornish (replaced by Alun Walker, 60 mins) 3 Elliot Millar Mills (replaced by Ben Betts, 65 mins) 4 Ben West (replaced by Jordan Onojaife, 60 mins) 5 Tom Denton 6 Kieran Murphy 7 Jordy Reid (replaced by Andrew Durutalo, 70 mins) 8 Rayn Smid (c)


16 Alun Walker 17 Alex Lundberg 18 Ben Betts 19 Jordan Onojaife 20 Andrew Durutalo 21 Jordan Burns 22 Sam Olver


Tries: Jordy Reid (15 minutes) Kieran Murphy (29 minutes) Craig Willis (33 minutes)

Conversions: Peter Lydon (15, 29, 33 minutes)

Penalties: Peter Lydon (40 minutes)

Drop Goal: Ryan Foley (49 minutes)

Match Officials:

Referee: Anthony Woodthorpe

Assistant Referees: Simon Adams & Simon Park

Fourth Official: Dan Parrott

Half Time Score: Nottingham 22 – 24 Ealing Trailfinders

Ealing Trailfinders were unable to maintain their unbeaten run against a well-drilled Nottingham side, but James Gibbons late side try ensured they returned home with a losing point that kept them in third place overnight in the Greene King IPA Championship overnight.

Ben Ward’s started strongly and their pack was quick to take control. They won penalties from two strong scrums and Aaron Penberthy kicked both to open a six-point lead.

Nottingham had chances of their own and after new-boy Mitch Lam pulled his first penalty wide, he struck his second through the posts.

Otherwise Ealing Trailfinders enjoyed the better of the first half, albeit without breaking through a well-drilled Nottingham defence that featured Ealing Trailfinders old boy James Stephenson at fullback.

After half time Nottingham came out strongly and began to impose themselves on the match and they were duly rewarded for their increase in intensity. Centre Viki Hakalo twice burst over from close range for tries that Lam converted.

It put the hosts in full control, but the visitors fought their way back into the match. Nottingham’s defence continue to dominate though, but with the last play of the match Gibbons was driven over from a mauled lineout to ensure they didn’t return down the M1 empty-handed.

Tries (Hakalo 46, 52), Conversions (Lam 46, 52), Penalties (Lam 24)
Ealing Trailfinders
Tries (James Gibbons 79), Conversions (Penberthy 80), Penalties (Penberthy 3,12)

James Stephenson, David Williams, Oli Evans, Vili Hakalo, Charlie Thacker, Mitch Lam, Murray McConnell; Harry Morley, Jimmy Stevens, Ben Hooper, Toby Freeman, Tom Holmes, Ben Morris (captain), Jordan Coghlan, Shane Buckley
TJ Harris, Tom West, Tom Heard, Matt Everard, Josh Poullet, Darryl Veenendaal, Sam Yawayawa

Ealing Trailfinders
Luke Daniels, Rhys Crane, Aled Jenkins, Joe Munro, Curtis Wilson, Aaron Penberthy, Luke Carter; Ignacio Lancuba, Rhys Lawrence, Lewis Thiede, Carwyn Jones, Adam Preocanin, Willie Ryan, Seb Nagle-Taylor, Mark Bright (captain)
Matt Cornish, James Gibbons, Alex Penny, Harry Casson, Chris York, Alex Walker, James Cordy-Redden

Attendance – 1,050
Referee – Matt O’Grady