- Ealing bounce back to professional rugby
- Battle to avoid relegation continues in National League 1
Ealing Trailfinders sealed promotion back to the Greene King Championship at the first attempt despite losing 19-15 at home to title rivals Rosslyn Park on the penultimate weekend of the season.
Their losing bonus point and Park’s failure to claim all five points on offer mean the men from Vallis Way will swap places with Plymouth Albion next season.
Park scored all their points in the first half through the boot of Scott Snedden and Alex Mackenzie’s try to lead 19-5 at the break. Luke Daniels, who had crossed for Ealing’s opening try, converted Arthur Ellis’ second-half effort and added a penalty as Ealing did enough to ensure the title was theirs with a round to spare.
The battle to avoid the third and final relegation place has gone right down to the wire though, with Old Albanian and Cinderford separated by a single point after both sides recorded bonus-point away wins.
Fly half Callum Sheedy was the star of the show for Cinderford, scoring 21 points through a try double, four conversions and a penalty in a 44-31 win against bottom-of-the-table Macclesfield.
Old Albanians kept their survival hopes alive on Saturday with a seven-try, 51-19 away to Darlington Mowden Park. Andrew Daish and George Perkins both grabbed a brace of tries apiece.
Cinderford play Esher at Dockham Road on the final weekend while Old As welcome relegated Tynedale to The Woollams.
Joe Brown’s try double set Esher on their way to a 26-8 win at home to Wharfedale, while Tynedale will travel South on the back of a spirited 26-17 home win against Loughborough Students.
Ben Frankland scored his 17th try of the season late on as Tynedale claimed all five points for the sixth time this season.
Matt Jones converted his own try and three others as well as kicking two penalties as Coventry rewarded a near 2,000-strong crowd at the Butts Park Arena with a 49-29 victory against Blackheath.
Elsewhere, there were home wins for Hartpury College, whose excellent maiden season in National One continued with a 34-26 win against Blaydon, and Richmond, for whom Adam Gadsby scored a second-half hat-trick against Fylde.