TEDDINGTON 67-3 TRINITYOctober 6, 2023
WEYBRIDGE VANDALS 56-21 TRINITYOctober 20, 2023
TRINITY 26 EASTBOURNE 19
Skipper Harry Wilson was quickly into action when from his own half he saw a gap, hared through and looked like scoring in the corner, only for a last-ditch Eastbourne tackle to deny him.
The visitors looked dangerous on the break and Mids did well to stem their flow when they broke. A 50-22 from Dan Crouch put Trinity on the attack but the line out was lost and, though they kept creating attacks, Trinity conceded tree penalties and were frantic in their approach when a more measured procedure was needed. They did steady up with Ben Vaillant securing two good catches in the line out and Ty Williams showing pace with a strong run. Wilson then found another gap and beat several men on a promising run when he pulled up suddenly and had to go off injured. Jack Greenwood moved to scrum half and Ben Telfer came on at full back. Trinity then produced a big scrum, with the front row of Ali Hall, Tim Jupp and Jacques Bryant doing the business. From this Mark Macaskill was just short but the support was there, and Greenwood put Mark McEvilly over for the opening try. The conversion was missed.
Trinity were now dominating and a turnover from Vaillant led to pressure in the visitors’ 22. They won two further penalties and elected for scrums. Hall and Macaskill came close and, when the ball was let out, Aidan Sisk produced one of his threatening sallies. However, after a long period of pressure, Trinity came away with nothing to add to their score. Eastbourne had defended well but again the hosts had lacked patience. Eastbourne took the lead when, after some basic errors from Trinity, their full back found space and had the pace to run from his own half to touch down. The conversion put the visitors in the lead at 7-5. Trinity came again and a good handling move saw McEvilly held just short and unlucky when he tried to unload in the tackle to the support that was there under the posts.
Eastbourne started the second half strongly and, though Telfer tidied up a difficult situation well, Trinity were rucked off the ball and conceded a second try to trail 5-12 after 43 minutes. The visitors were now in charge and increased their lead when they went through the phases from a line out close in, then a scrum, before finishing in the corner. The converted try gave them a 19-5 lead. Trinity kept at it and good use of rolling subs meant that energy levels were maintained. Andy Dean was making impressive and telling breaks through the centre and a swift handling move produced an excellent try when Crouch found McEvilly and he put Sisk in for a try converted by Greenwood after 52 minutes.
Trinity were now playing with much more poise and trusting themselves to play the game they know. Several good moves nearly produced and eventually the pressure told when, after strong drives by Hall and Bryant, Adam Stammers forced his way over. Greenwood nailed an important conversion and there was plenty of time left. Eastbourne now had chances. They had a kickable penalty, which they declined and kicked to the corner. This produced a chance, but they knocked on. Trinity now dominated and produced a gutsy performance. Macaskill was eventually replaced after 73 minutes of relentless work in the engine room and some excellent carrying.
They did not make it easy for themselves, with too many knock-ons and line out mistakes but their tackling was so good that they more than made up for these lapses. Dean continued to show the way and strong runs from Williams and McEvilly promised a result. In the meantime, another threatening attack from Eastbourne was stemmed by Telfer who ran powerfully up the line to regain ground. Again and again the Trinity machine came in waves and the supporters were able to celebrate in the sunshine when the final move produced space for the flying Sisk to dot down for a bonus point and give Greenwood the chance to convert in the penultimate play of the match. The remaining seconds were comfortably dealt with, and Trinity had compensated for the ‘steal’ suffered in the last home game against East Grinstead.
Coach Matt Higgins was very pleased by the resilience showed by his team and by the non-stop tackling and good ball retention.
Match report by Gerry Murphy.
Tribe Advisory Player of the Match: ANDY DEAN