Old Priorians Rugby Football

OPRFC crush Ealing Amateurs in first Ealing Derby

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Connor Macleod once proclaimed in the 80s film The Highlander "There can only be one" before defeating his foe in the battle for immortality.

Last Wednesday night saw the first ever Ealing derby as the Old Priorians met Ealing Amateurs under lights in the Middlesex Bowl semi final with the victor undoubtedly settling the score of who is the best Amateur club in the area.

In fact the OPRFC was set up six years ago to offer an exceptional standard of rugby for players who didn't want to focus on a professional rugby career. The Ops fielded quite a few changes to their usual electric backline for this fixture some by choice with one eye on the final championship deciding league game and others due to a late food poisoning episode that swept the Dever house hold. Greeted by a large crowd, the first half was a classic derby game producing a gritty, physical encounter with Ealing gaining a slight edge at the set piece whilst looking susceptible to the OP attacking threat with ball in hand.

Following a Ross Mcintosh penalty, Andrew Haston scored the first try as he ran over the Ealing scrum half to score. The second score before half time came via a kick through by Edd Conway which bounced equitably distant to the covering Ealing full back and the rampaging David Wilkie. What followed was a mini game of chicken both players raced at full speed to the ball as it bounced straight up from the ground, one player would surely have to check his stride or a   full on collision would result the crowd drew breath as they waited to see who the victor would be. Out of the dust ball shot David Wilkie like a scene from days of thunder! "OP 13 is dropping the hammer" rang out the announcer as he crossed the line to score. The resulting conversation and subsequent penalty left it 10-3 at half time with everything to play for. Ealing lead by some old heads in Phil Cotter and Adam Humlston ensured that they stayed physical and made OPRFC work for every yard.

The second half saw the OPs superior fitness and pace make all the difference as they controlled possession and territory. This pressure allowed the OPs to revert to type with the crowd calling out for them to run from all areas of the pitch as it was evident that Ealing's physcial warm up and constant tackling had drained their tanks. OPs used their strong bench to bring on Michael Simpson and Seb oddi who opened up Ealing to score two further tries along with one from Mayowa Olunilua.

The try rush was continued by David Wilkie who scored two more tries completing an excellent hat trick and claiming a well deserved MoM award. Even though the score finished 52-3 Ealing didn't give up and battled to the final whistle.

The fixture had been 6 years in the making but with OPS going into level 6 (london 1) and Ealing playing in level 8 it might be some time before these two great clubs meet again. ?


1st May 2014