Another frustrating encounter with old rivals Ealing Trailfinders saw the Reds depart Vallis Way empty-handed, despite having been in contention for the majority of the first half.
A Trailfinder's try with the last play of the first half and another in the 78th minute sealed a solid bonus point win for the hosts, in what turned out to be a bruising encounter for Jersey.
Ealing took the lead early on with a converted try from a rolling maul that was finished by Alun Walker. Brendan Cope made no mistake soon after to reduce the deficit with a well-struck penalty, and 7-3 looked to be a fair return from the first period. That was until with the last play of the half when Miles Mantella crossed to give the hosts the upper-hand, and a lead of 14-3.
The Reds needed a quick response after the break, but this wasn't to come. First Lydon converted a penalty, and then Ealing stamped their authority on the fixture as Andrew Durutalo drove over from close range for a converted try to extend the lead to 24-3.
Jersey kept battling, but in their endeavours to get back on terms they incurred a number of injuries that disrupted the team's structure. Oli Bryant was helped from the field by the physios, and Seb Nagle-Taylor was later on clearly troubled by a knee injury. With changing personnel, prop Roy Godfrey even had to deputise in the centre.
And whilst the Reds were dealing with their own adversities, the hosts were clearly anxious in their pursuit of the bonus point score, and that finally came from a quick tap penalty by Calum Walters who fed Peter Lydon to cross, and convert.
With time to restart, Jersey's persistence finally paid off as they scored a consolation try with the last play of the game as Tom Pincus dotted down to make the final score 31-8.
Following the final whistle Head Coach, Harvey Biljon said, "Credit goes to Ealing. There were missed opportunities throughout, but we had to adapt with players playing out of position. We need to look at our errors and keep improving".
There is now a break in Championship action with two weeks' of B&I cup fixtures, starting on Friday night as Jersey play host to Yorkshire Carnegie.
The Reds will be keen to get back to winning ways, with kick off at 7.45pm at Stade Santander International.
15 Peter Lydon 14 Miles Mantella 13 Piers O’Conor 12 Joe Munro 11 Seb Stegmann 10 Aaron Penberthy 9 Luke Carter 1 Will Davis 2 Alun Walker 3 Lewis Thiede 4 Harry Casson 5 Barney Maddison 6 Andrew Durutalo 7 Arthur Ellis 8 Mark Bright (c)
16 Matt Cornish 17 Djustice Sears Duru 18 Mark Tampin 19 Llewelyn Jones 20 Rayn Smid 21 Calum Waters 22 Lewis Robling
15 Brendan Cope 14 Tom Pincus 13 Mark Best 12 Apakuki Ma’afu 11 Jason Worrall 10 Oli Bryant 9 Joel Dudley 1 Roy Godfrey (c) 2 Nick Selway 3 Jake Armstrong 4 Jerry Sexton 5 Dave McKern 6 Rory Bartle 7 Seb Nagle-Taylor 8 Rory Pitman
16 Jack Macfarlane 17 Jake Woolmore 18 Alec Clarey 19 James Voss 20 Matt Rogerson 21 Kieran Hardy 22 Ellis Abrahams
Referee: Dean Richards. Assistant Referees: Chris Sharp & Darryl Chapman
Half time: 14-3
Man of the match: Andrew Durutalo (Ealing Trailfinders)
Tries: Alun Walker (8 minutes) Miles Mantella (39 minutes) Andrew Durutalo (50 minutes) Peter Lydon (78 minutes)
Conversions: Peter Lydon (8, 39, 50, 78 minutes)
Penalty: Peter Lydon (44 minutes)
Try: Tom Pincus (80 minutes)
Penalty: Brendan Cope (15 minutes)
23 Mar 2023
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