Doncaster Knights 22 Ealing Trailfinders 38: Knights made to suffer by impressive visitors

Doncaster Knights dropped to seventh in the Championship following defeat at Castle Park by five tries to three.

Doncaster Knights' Curtis Wilson scored a 48th-minute try in the defeat to Ealing at Castle Park. Picture: Tony Johnson.

Weak defence was responsible for Ealing’s opening three tries on 11, 15 and 32 minutes as the West London club quickly led 21-3 before Doncaster’s competitive pack drove over hooker James Malcolm just before half-time.

As well as poor tackling, Doncaster also failed to take advantage of a number of promising attacks.

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However, the hosts fought back with outstanding commitment to slash Ealing’s lead to 28-22 as their forwards created including one for winger Curtis Wilson in the 48th minute after a rampaging burst by prop Joe Sproston.

This recovery then gathered strength as the pack smashed Ealing’s defence to set-up Will Ryan who barged over for his team’s third try, and with fly-half Kurt Morath putting over an excellent conversion, Doncaster were now only six points behind.

But this revival quickly ended because of a yellow card for off-side against prop Toby Williams, who had recently been sent on.

Ealing capitalized immediately, full-back Peter Lydon, who finished with 18 points, putting over the three points. Then, forward Jack O’ Connell’s charge towards Doncaster’s line in the 71st minute was well-supported by centre Pat Howard, who spotted a gap to score Ealing’s fifth try and with it a thoroughly-deserved victory plus confirmation that the Trailfinders are serious promotion contenders.

On a more positive note for Doncaster, coach Clive Griffiths, who is recuperating from a recent heart attack and an operation, returned to Castle Park and watched from a director’s box.

Griffiths will be back full-time in six weeks.

Doncaster Knights: Jarvis (Cowell 64), McColl, Hayes, Creed, Wilson, Morath, James (Seniloli 72), Hislop (Williams 60), Malcolm (Nelson 53), Quigley (Sproston 47), Challinor (Eames 53), Civetta, Ryan, Calladine, Tyrell.

Ealing Trailfinders: Lydon, Packman, Jones, Howard, Cordy-Redden, Willis, Carter, Ellwood (O’Connell 40), Walker (Cornish 72), Davis (Betts 57), Landry, Denton, Smid (Durutalo 43), Reid, Stedman.

Referee: Matthew Carley.