An emphatic four-try performance from winger David Williams wasn’t quite enough for Nottingham to get the win over top of the table Ealing Trailfinders, though it did ensure they got the all important bonus point.
It didn’t take long for Williams to get his first try. Ten minutes in, Michael Stronge spread it wide to him following a number of successive penalties on the Ealing try line which they had until then been able to convert into points.
That opening try seemed to light a fire under the visitors, as they spent the rest of the first half relentlessly pressuring the Green and White try line. They got back to level pegging in their very next attack with Michael Willemse pushing his way over the line after a number of phases, and then took the lead soon after through the big prop William Goldrick Clarke.
A third try for Ben Ward’s team came right before half time, Richard Hardwick getting himself on the scoresheet and, with the clock showing 39 minutes as Nottingham restarted, the west Londoners thought they would be able to take a 14 point lead into the break. That was until they fumbled the take on the kick and Williams scooped it up, burning past the defence and diving over the line to make it a one-try game at half time.
Ealing quickly restored their 14 point advantage after the restart, Hardwick once again squeezing through the Archers’ defence to get the ball down after multiple phases on the try line.
It wasn’t all smiles for the Trailfinders at the start of the second half. The referee sternly sent Jonah Holmes to the sin bin for an intentional knock on soon after the try and Nottingham looked to capitalise on their extra man. They spread it out once again in the direction of Williams who expertly kicked up the touchline, chased after it and beat the defence to touch the ball down over the line. Unfortunately the celebrations were short lived though, as the linesman waved his flag to say the ball had just gone out.
That wasn’t the end of it however, as Craig Hammond’s men quickly got the ball back and mounted an attack. Sam Hollingsworth cheekily chipped it over the Ealing defensive line and Williams beat the retreating defenders to it, diving between the posts for his hat trick try.
Once again though, Ealing responded. This time it was Max Bodilly who got over for the try, and soon after Craig Willis kicked a penalty putting any hope of a home comeback to bed.
With the clock quickly approaching 80 minutes, Nottingham still needed one more try for a bonus point. In the final minute Sam Hollingsworth executed a pinpoint crossfield kick to Williams who got his hand on top of the ball over the line for his fourth of the game.
Nottingham will take confidence in being the only team so far to take a bonus point off Ealing as they travel to Hartpury next weekend. Meanwhile, Ealing will take their undefeated record back to Trailfinders Sports Club where they welcome Coventry.