Connacht Eagles 14-71 Ealing Trailfinders

It was a day to forget for the Connacht Eagles in the British & Irish Cup as high-flying Championship side Ealing Trailfinders claimed a comprehensive victory at the Sportsground.

Trailing 40-0 at the break, Connacht showed good fighting spirit in the second half and touched down through Pat O’Toole and Gavin Thornbury but the forward power of the English side proved too strong.

Ealing’s six-try first half included four tries from rolling mauls as Samuel Rodman, James Cordy Redden, Matt Cornish, Lewis Jones (2) and Joe Munro all touched down.

Thornbury and Conor McKeon were both sin-binned late in the half and, with Connacht down to 13, Ealing scored again early in the second half as Shane O’Leary’s superb crossfield kick allowed Will Harries to touch down.

James Cordy Redden scored in the left corner in 50 minutes before O’Toole finished off a flowing Connacht move before Harley Fox set Thornbury up for a second try with Andrew Deegan converting both.

That was as good as it got however as Ealing regained control and finished strongly with Harries, Morgan Allen and Cordy Redden crossing to complete the scoring as former Connacht out-half O’Leary kicked eight conversions in an impressive display.

Connacht Eagles: Matthew Byrne; Niyi Adeolokun (Adam Leavy, 68), Stacey Ili (Luke Carty, 26-35), Kieran Joyce, Rory Scholes; Andrew Deegan (Luke Carty, 75), Conor McKeon (James Mitchell, 55); Denis Coulson, Pat O’Toole, JP Cooney (Capt) (Conor Kenny, 55); Peter Claffey (Niall Murray, 72), Gavin Thornbury; Paul Boyle, Naulia Dawai, Harley Fox (Cian Huxford, 72).

Replacements: Callum Torpey, Conor Kenny, Niall Murray, Cian Huxford, James Mitchell, Luke Carty, Adam Leavy.

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