Nottingham put in a performance they can be proud of against the league leaders on a rare Saturday afternoon game at The Bay, but unfortunately weren’t able to come away with the result or any bonus points.
The game started well for Craig Hammond’s men. Although they conceded a penalty within the first minute, which Ealing kicked to the corner, they did well to keep out the attack with Carl Kirwan scooping up a spilled ball five metres out. Michael Stronge spread it out wide from their own try line and David Williams broke free. He gave a quick offload to Jordan Olowofela who outpaced the entire Ealing team to score the opening try of the game.
Ealing did respond quickly. They kicked another penalty to the corner and this time were able to execute a nice attack off the back of it. Craig Willis was the man who dove over the line, but he wasn’t able to convert, so the Green and Whites kept the lead.
Much of the next 20 minutes was played in the centre of the park with neither side able to carve out many big chances. However, a couple of mistakes gave Ealing a penalty in the Nottingham half, which they decided to kick to the corner once again. After a couple of phases, Jonah Holmes grubber kicked it through the defence and landed on his own kick to score the go-ahead try.
Not long after, the Trailfinders got their third try. Max Bodily did brilliantly to block Jordan Olowofela’s kick from deep inside his own half and then chase after the loose ball. Sam Hollingsworth’s last-ditch tackle wasn’t quite enough to keep him out and he was able to get the ball over the line.
Nottingham showed they had the ability to look dangerous themselves when the try scorer Jordan Olowofela broke through a couple of tackles inside the Ealing 22 to set up a promising attack. Unfortunately, the final kick to the wing from Michael Stronge was cut out easily by the defence.
However, with ten minutes until halftime, Ealing got their bonus point try. Kicking another penalty to the corner, they then perfectly executed a driving maul to roll over the try line.
The visitors came out of the break and picked up exactly where they left off. They worked their way up to the Green and White try line and the prop Kyle Whyte got through a gap to score.
Nottingham got one back quickly though. After some nice attacking play got the up to the Ealing try line, they were awarded a penalty. Stronge tapped it and spread it out right where Jack Neville fought through a couple of tackles. He was eventually stopped just inches short of the try line, but Notts reset. Hollingsworth quickly spread it out to the other wing with a kick where Ryan Olowofela was waiting. He outjumped the Ealing winger to claim it and waltzed over the line for the score.
After a long stretch with neither team really threatening, Ealing eventually broke through. Holmes wriggled through a couple of tackles and got over the line for his second try of the afternoon
With the result pretty much decided, Nottingham still had that bonus point to chase. Neville got the third try with then minutes to go, dancing past multiple Ealing defenders and diving over the line in the left hand corner. However, they were unable to create any more big chances.
Nottingham are back at The Bay next weekend as they take on Bedford Blues on Sunday.