Burnham-on-Crouch 26 – 58 Ealing Trailfinders 1871 1sts

Burnham-on-Crouch 26 – 58 Ealing Trailfinders 1871 1sts in the Papa John’s Cup

Ealing Trailfinders 1871 travelled by coach to the attractively located ground of Burnham-on-Crouch, a couple of hundred metres from the sea wall and the Crouch estuary, to play the Counties 2 Essex North champions in the round of 32 of the Papa Johns Community Cup Counties 2 Championship. On a warm and sunny but breezy April day, Ealing’s players and supporters received a warm welcome at what is clearly a thriving and well-run club, coached by former England Women’s international Sally Russo. A committed performance by a squad featuring no fewer than six first-team debutants brought victory in a high-scoring match of 13 tries, nine to Ealing and four to their game opponents.
The green-and-whites started strongly, with the backs up quickly in defence to deny Burnham quality possession, and opened their account after just 3 minutes through flanker Alex Kritikos, with a powerful straight run. The conversion attempt by Harry Vidler, standing in as captain in the absence of the injured Lewis Steadman, missed in the swirling breeze. Five minutes later 1871 stamped their authority on the game with a second try, scored by Josh Steadman, on this occasion playing at scrum half, with a trademark burst of speed to cross the line near the corner flag and finish under the posts, Vidler converting. Undeterred, Burnham reduced the arrears to 12-5 with a well-executed try on the right. 1871 continued to dominate possession, and with a quarter of the game played right wing Louis Aitcheson-Walker came into the line on the left and finished well in the corner, from where Vidler nailed a difficult conversion. The gap between the two sides was widened 7 minutes later with a fine run down the right-hand touch line by flanker Carlos Duarte, and Aitcheson-Walker squeezed over in virtually the same spot to conclude the first-half action with another well-struck conversion by Vidler to leave the interval score at 31-5.
Burnham began the second period brightly with a try under the posts and conversion, but 1871 bounced back with neat passing along the three-quarter line and back inside for full back Jack Hobbs to dive over. Kritikos added his second of the day with another barnstorming run, with Vidler adding the extras, and hooker Leo Codrington-Lambert outpaced the defence to finish under the posts, before Burnham notched their third try of the afternoon. With just under a quarter of the game remaining, Vidler opted for the posts from one of the relatively small number of penalties awarded in a fluent, disciplined and well-refereed contest. Burnham added a fourth through their forwards, but it was Ealing who scored the final try of an entertaining contest, debutant Stan Clauson showing an impressive turn of speed and hand-off down the right-hand touch line and finishing under the sticks.
Ealing’s own man of the match award was shared by Aitcheson-Walker and fellow winger Kayci Bernard, while Burnham nominated Josh Steadman. Ealing debutants Mihai and Petru Boian, who provided a solid centre pairing, Stan Clauson, Tijai Bright with several strong runs, club stalwart Dan Ford and 18-year-old wing Dan Nethercote all made meaningful contributions to an impressive squad performance.
Having dispatched the Counties 2 North Essex champions, 1871 have a home fixture in the last 16 against Basildon, Burnham’s counterparts in Essex South, on Saturday 20 April.


0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *