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

Doncaster Knights' Curtis Wilson scored a 48th-minute try in the defeat to Ealing at Castle Park. Picture: Tony Johnson.
Doncaster Knights' Curtis Wilson scored a 48th-minute try in the defeat to Ealing at Castle Park. Picture: Tony Johnson.
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Doncaster Knights dropped to seventh in the Championship following defeat at Castle Park by five tries to three.

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.

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.