Ealing Trailfinders 6, London Welsh 39
It was a case of mission accomplished as London Welsh secured a bonus point win away to basement side Ealing on Saturday.
But the home side made life difficult for the visitors, particularly in the first half.
It wasn’t until the stroke of half-time that Welsh made the breakthrough after a frustrating opening 39 minutes.
Pete Browne’s converted try was the breathing space Welsh needed, before a devastating three-try burst in eight minutes in the second half which secured win No 13 of the campaign, Nathan Vella, Seb Stegmann and Nick Scott crossing.
It fell to captain Tom May to round things off by adding their fifth try as his side moved up a place to third in the table This was both sides’ first game for three weeks, and at times it showed during the opening half.
Dan Ward opened the scoring with a penalty, with the Exiles misfiring.
Mitch Lees’s carries were a feature of the first half for Welsh. The powerful Australian produced a bulldozing run should have led to a try, only for the ball to be knocked forward.
Will Robinson’s penalty miss compounded the Exiles’ frustrating start, andWard doubled the home side’s lead after Richard Thorpe was penalised for not rolling away.
Welsh responded immediately, however, with Robinson splitting the uprights after Exiles second row Ben West had pinched Ealing line-out ball and then adding a second penalty goal.
That seemed set to be the last score of the first half, until an Exiles’ catch-and-drive was met with little resistance and Pete Browne went over for a try, Robinson’s conversion making it 13-6 at the break.
On resumption, with Ealing second row George Merrick in the sin bin, Exiles drove for the line. Prop James Tideswell was stopped short, but Vella forced his way over.
Ealing’s stubborn resistance had been broken and winger Stegmann dummied nicely before going over from close range for try No 3.
The bonus-point score arrived soon afterwards.
A spilt pass was seized upon by Welsh. Jewell counter-attacked and Daniel Browne released Scott to burst clear to score.
Daniel Browne then intercepted as Ealing pressed, but the back row forward lacked the gas to go all the way.
But Welsh’s fifth try would not be too long in coming, Nathan Morris releasing May as the game opened up.
Alex Davies added the conversion.
Ealing Trailfinders: Henderson, Wardingley, Mclean-Dents, Bedford (Wheatcroft 69), Chesters, Ward, Thompson (Parker 64), Storer (Neville 60), Radoi (Townsend 69), Carey (Saunders 69), Pape (Collier 51), Merrick, Anderson, Siggery, Evans (capt) (Hocking 62).
London Welsh: Jewell, Stegmann, May (capt), Tincknell, Scott, Robinson (‘Estrange 62), Lewis (Davies 54), Bristow (Hepburn 62), Vella (Morris 51), Tideswell (Edwards 62), West (Pitman 54), Browne, Lees, Kirwan, Thorpe (D Browne 32).
Referee: A Jackson (RFU).