CLINICAL FINISHING was the difference in Coventry’s 17-8 defeat to Ealing Trailfinders in Friday night’s clash.
An Andy Forsyth try and a penalty from Rory Jennings were in vain against title-chasing Ealing – who claimed an 11th RFU Championship win of the season thanks to converted efforts from Patrick Howard and Kieran Murphy.
Craig Willis kicked both conversions, while substitute Steven Shingler added a penalty to complete the scoring for the visitors at Butts Park Arena.
With head coach Nick Walshe mutually agreeing to depart the club just hours before kick-off, Coventry suffered a further set-back when going behind to a converted try after just eight minutes.
A handling error gifted the hosts possession, and from the attack that followed, South African forward Howard bundled his way over the line, which Willis made no mistake in converting from out wide.
Five minutes later, similar accuracy was shown by Jennings to loft the ball between the posts from long range to reduce the deficit to four points.
By the half-hour mark though, it was Ealing who benefited from their offensive approach by taking a solid lead heading into the second half.
This time, it was Murphy who crossed over after Coventry’s backline eventually gave way to consistent pressure.
Once more, Willis provided the extras for the visitors from West London.
Ealing continued where they left off after the restart and set up camp in Coventry’s half, during which both sides were a man light with yellow cards displayed to the hosts’ Adam Peters and the visitors’ Will Davis.
With more open space on the pitch, Coventry rallied and began to ask questions of the away side, none more so than a Forsyth try to reduce the arrears to six points with 20 minutes remaining.
He latched onto Jennings’ forward kick which sat up perfectly for the centre to collect and then stride over the whitewash.
While the conversion was squandered, it gave Coventry some genuine hope of a fightback.
A final score of the game in favour of the Trailfinders ten minutes later provided the killer blow to those chances, as Shingler fired the ball between the posts to nullify the noise generated by the Butts Park faithful.
While Jack Tovey saw yellow for a high shoulder with eight minutes left, Coventry were unable to claw themselves back into it.
Dropping a place to fifth, Coventry have a week off before making the trip to ninth-placed Doncaster on Saturday, March 14, kicking off at 2.30pm at Castle Park.