Rosslyn Park coach Alex Codling was a proud man despite watching his side lose by a whisker to National League One leaders Ealing Trailfinders.

The 16-17 defeat at the Rock on Saturday came virtue of a late penalty try awarded to the visitors with Park 16-10 ahead.

Adam Bellamy bagged Park’s sole try, and Louis Grimoldby kicked the extras, but it proved no enough.

However, Ealing are the only full-time side in the division and Codling believes their celebrations at the final whistle spoke volumes.

He said: “The lads were fantastic. They defended superbly in the first half, and we were in total control in the second half.

“I am always proud of the effort that the players put in week in, week out.

“When you consider that Ealing are the full-time side, they celebrated as if they thought they had got out of jail, and that says a lot.”

He added: “The penalty try was unfortunate, but we were in total control of the things we could control, but those things that were out of our hands went against us – read into that what you will.”

Ealing’s win lifted them four points clear of Park, who go to Blackheath this weekend before the Christmas break.

Codling said: “Blackheath will be tough, we had a right ding-dong with them earlier this season.

“But a big derby match is probably not a bad thing for the boys given how they are feeling after Saturday.”

Codling will be without Paul Mackey and Sam Staff this weekend, while James Inglis could return if he has recovered from a bout of flu.

Mackey is out of action until the new year after an operation to remove an ingrowing hair, while Staff is expected to be out for the remainder of the season having had an operation on his shoulder.

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