Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting TANEWS to 80360, or email
Wharfedale no match for leaders Ealing
Ealing Trailfinders 41 Wharfedale 13
March 2013 has the makings of the most significant month of Wharfedale’s season.
Having begun the month with this match at the champions elect, the outstanding side in the division, there are three home matches against mid-table sides and one away match at the bottom club Cambridge.
As coach Tom McGee says, the club’s survival in the division is in its own hands, and with Macclesfield continuing to defy the form book with five wins from their last six matches, there is no time like the present to get the season back on the rails.
London proved again to be Wharfedale’s least favourite destination, not only because of the poor results of the four matches they have played there, but because on three occasions they have ended the match with injuries to key players.
Leaving Ealing with no points in the bank might have been expected, but with an eye to the remainder of March’s fixtures, the management must be hoping that Allen and Brown – the timber in the side – will be available for the tests to come.
Wharfedale’s game plan was to stifle if possible the threat of the flying Ealing back division, led by prolific left winger Phil Chesters, but by the 14th minute the plan lay in tatters: first he made the break for the inside scoring pass to centre McLean-Dents, then helped himself to a try of his own.
Amazingly, neither was converted and by half-time the visitors had twice got on to the scoreboard through the reliable place-kicking of Tom Barrett. The home goal-kicker eventually landed an unmissable penalty, but at 13-6 the visitors were theoretically still in the game.
Wharfedale had struggled to cause any discomfort to the home side, and with the loss early in the second half of lock Richard Brown to a knee injury, following Alastair Allen’s 20th-minute back injury, meant any hope of challenging Ealing up front had gone.
From this point on the Greens were in the business of damage limitation, and the traffic had become one-way. It was only a matter of time before the gates opened, and four tries followed, all converted to loud ironic cheers; a more clinical side would however surely have added to this total.
As a coda to a difficult match in which considerable credit is due to the depleted pack and behind it the feisty James Gough, Tom Barrett followed his own chip ahead to score, which at least gave his side the relief of not having to travel home without having scored a try.