COVENTRY came within two minutes of topping table toppers Ealing’s 100 per cent home record in National League One but were undone by a late try in London on Saturday.
Ealing’s only score of the second half saw them take away a 24-18 win it what proved to be a physical encounter at Vallis Way following a match full of action and excitement.
Urged on a by a passionate and large away following, it was Coventry who drew first blood when on three minutes Matt Jones landed a superb 43-metre penalty.
But Ealing soon replied and took the lead thanks to two unconverted tries from flanker Arthur Ellis and with Coventry injuries piling up they visitors were up against it.
Also under pressure in the set scrums against a heavier Ealing pack, Coventry then lost hooker Matt Price to a yellow card for apparently pulling down a player at the close in line out.
Matt Jones was not too short with an attempted 58 metre penalty and when they returned to full numbers they produced on the of best moves of the match on 34 minutes.
A quick tap penalty from acting captain Wayne Evans saw Coventry power into home territory and when possession was moved left, Will Hurrell forced his way despite a poor pass for his tenth try of the season but the wide angle into the cross field wind defeated Jones’ conversion attempt.
Coventry perhaps would have been happy going in just two points down at the break but it was not to be as three minutes into added on time severe Ealing pressure saw the referee award the hosts a penalty trywhich ward converted for 17-8.
The Butts Park Arena men new they were in for a tough second half but it soon became evident that they had plenty of guts to produce a powerful second half showing and push the league leaders all the way.
After pounding away at the home defence for more than ten minutes, their reward came on 62 minutes when Coventry were awarded a penalty try which Jones converted to put the visitors back in front.
At this point Ealing realised their home record was in danger and they were up against an attacking Coventry side.
But despite their best efforts Scott Morgan’s side failed to hang on and on 79 minutes Ealing replacement Luke Daniels evaded three tackles to cross for the match-winning and bonus point try which was converted by Ward.
The relief amongst the home ranks was evident at the final whistle as Coventry maintained third position in National League One and are next in action on April 11 when they visit Fylde.