Lively local derby sees Northolt steam past GWR
NORTHOLT RFC continued their good run of form with a convincing 24-8 victory over GWR in a fine local derby at the Ealing Trailfinders sports ground.
GWR started well by kicking for territory and forcing Northolt to frantically defend their try line.
In a matter of minutes, GWR had a 5-0 lead - Dave Clarke scoring after good work from Paul Hamblin.
Northolt immediately launched a counter-attack with a penalty and a converted try - the forwards capitalising on a series of rucks and mauls with a touchdown for club captain and talisman Frank Enright.
Matthew O'Gorman demonstrated some explosive running in the first half and was unlucky not to sprint through the opposition defence on several occasions.
His performance brought an air of confidence in the Northolt back line and the away team were soon two tries ahead at half time thanks to a series of rucks on GWR's 5m line followed by a powerful drive for the line by Mark Johnson - his third try of the season.
Northolt were 17-8 to the good at the change around - Clarke having scored with a penalty for GWR - but they had to resist a spirited fightback from the hosts before killing the game five minutes from time with a strong contender for try of the season.
Thomas Cleary led a breakaway with a 50m sprint down the right flank before planting an exquisite chip-kick into the opponent's 22m area for George Williams to chase down and score.
Another dogged performance by Wayne Meek saw him harass and frustrate the opposing number eight on several occasions and kick three conversions and a penalty.
Following a return from injury, man of the match O'Gorman gave both sides a terrifying reminder of his thundering pace and agility and both Johnson and Steve Gawidziel showed outstanding bullishness in the tackle and on the offensive.
Northolt (fifth) and GWR (sixth) are just below half way in the Herts/Middlesex 4 league table. Harrow and Chess Valley lead with unblemished records and meet on December 19, when GWR travel to British Airways and Northolt play at home to Hayes.