On a day where Coventry rocked up to the Trailfinders Sports Club gladly donning their ‘underdog’ tag with a quiet sense of optimism, the stage was set for a dramatic end to a long season.
The away support that had travelled down from the midlands were in full voice to heavily outweigh the home fans in number, and provide a brilliant atmosphere in the capital. The game got off to a cracking start as James Martin chased Josh Barton’s box kick with sheer determination and put in the first of many gigantic defensive shots.
The first points of the game went the way of the hosts. Coventry were ruled to be not rolling away at the breakdown, and Shingler happily converted that decision in to 3 points for Ealing Trailfinders. (3-0)
Coventry responded soon after and responded well. A brilliant defensive effort resulted in a turnover in midfield which Josh Barton ran home from 50+ metres. Fenner converted the simple extra two points and we were well and truly in the contest. (3-7)
After a fast start, the game finally settled in to a slightly less frantic pace, as both sides backed their defence and kick chase. On the 20 minute mark, Ealing reduced the Coventry lead to just one point, as the linesman stepped in to point out an incident of foul play that had gone otherwise unnoticed. Shingler pointed to the sticks and was successful with his effort once more. (6-7)
The scored stayed as it was for some time, as both sides managed to gain territory without managing to jump the final hurdle required to cross the line. Cov had the last say of the half as Ealing were caught offside, and Tony Fenner did what he has been doing his entire career and added 3 points to Cov tally. (HT: 6-10)
The second half began, and both sides knew they were dangerously close to sheer elation of devastation. Cov had easily the brighter start to the second period as Ealing infringed at the breakdown allowing Fenner to extend the lead from the tee. (6-13)
On the 52nd minute mark the away crowd reached new sound levels as Sam Aspland-Robinson put in a bone crunching tackle on the half way line. Unfortunately, from a Coventry perspective, the referee brought the game back for a penalty at the preceding scrum. Shingler’s kick was good things couldn’t be tighter. (9-13)
As we approached the 60 minute mark, Ealing were on the right side of a series of decisions which allowed them to progress up the field, before scoring off a clever ‘tap and go’ from close range. The conversion flew over from in front of the sticks and the score was 16-13.
Coventry had two tries disallowed by the officials whilst they repeatedly knocked on the Trailfinders defensive door. The home side soon after proved why they’re Championship top dogs and were down the opposite end of the pitch in a matter of moments. A Craig Willis penalty in front of the posts extend Ealing’s lead to 19-13.
With one last penalty, one last kick to the corner and one last chance; Coventry mounted the last attack aiming for the upset of the season. A penalty was awarded to the home side and just like that, the dream was over. (FT:19-13). A hush went around the stadium before the Coventry supporters (who had made the occasion feel far more like a home game) allowed their voices to roar right across the capital in show of the effort they had just witnessed.
Massive congratulations to Ealing Trailfinders as they secure the 2021/22 double, and thank you to every single supporter that managed to get to London this afternoon. That’s that for this campaign, but we are Coventry, and we will go again!