FORMER Musselburgh RFC hooker Alun Walker was in action in the Greene King IPA Championship play-offs at the weekend.
Walker started both legs of Ealing Trailfinders’ play-off semi-final with Yorkshire Carnegie. The London side were 16-34 down from the first leg going into Friday evening’s return at Headingley, but despite a 20-18 win they were knocked out of the promotion race.
Walker told Courier Sport: “I think we just gave ourselves too much to do – we conceded too many points in the first leg. To go to Headingley and win [for the first time] shows what we can do and we’ve got to take positives from the game.”
Former Edinburgh hooker Walker, 26, was in typically combative mood as Ealing dominated the tight exchanges.
He was, though, forced from the field five minutes before half-time with an injury, and had to watch on as the Yorkshire side booked their place in the final.
And he revealed the extent of the injury, adding: “I got a trapped nerve in my neck and back and it just went into spasm. It was really unfortunate timing for me but it’s just one of those things you’ve got to expect in rugby.”
He added: “We had a couple of injuries, and the boys really stuck at it and we got [the winning] try at the end.”
The hooker also reflected on the season as a whole, as Ealing finished in third place – above even Walker’s pre-season goals.
He previously told Courier Sport a top-half finish would represent a positive campaign, but the 26-year-old added: “About Christmas time we realised we were in with a shout of making the play-offs. To finish third was not where we expected to be, and that has made this season even better.”
While Walker’s attention has now turned to his summer holiday, he said his side would need to re-assess their goals ahead of next season.
“I am not 100 per cent sure what our targets will be – it’s not something we’ve spoken about.
“We’ve got a good squad and we’ll enjoy our time off and see where we’re at when pre-season starts.”