Ealing Trailfinders captain Sam Dickinson admitted their comprehensive 54-21 victory over Bedford Blues helped allay the memory of the haunting loss which derailed their promotion bid.

The West London side lost 23-18 at Goldington Road in January, but outclassed third-placed Bedford last weekend, running in eight tries in a clinical performance.

Ben Ward’s side now face league champions Irish twice in two weeks, including the defence of their Championship Cup at Trailfinders Sports Ground in a fortnight.

Skipper Dickinson said: “The game earlier in the year haunts us given our league position now and how close we were to getting that top spot.

“Those games where we feel we could have won them but just didn’t perform cost us, so it’s nice to get that win now.

“It was a brilliant performance from us. We allowed them to play their rugby earlier this year but we stepped up our game here, there was a very good crowd, and nice weather too.

“You don’t want to have landmarks like Lewis Jones reaching 50 caps and Alun Walker reaching 100 after a loss, so it’s great for those guys, who are real club men.

“When we play how we want, we’re formidable. Against Irish next week we need to keep the physicality, keep the momentum, and next year we want to push for the top.”

The hosts had a try bonus point within 20 minutes through tries from Rayn Smid, two from Will Harries and James Cordy-Redden.

Dean Adamson got one back for Bedford after Harries’ second to make it 33-7 at half-time, and James Lennon cut the score to 33-14 after the break.

But further tries from Jordan Burns, Kieran Murphy and Alun Walker – on his 100th appearance – extended the home lead to 54-14, although Pat Tapley scored late for Bedford to give the score some respectability.

Ealing scrum-half and man-of-the-match Jordan Burns said: “I’m very happy with man-of-the-match, I wasn’t expecting it.

“It’s very nice to get revenge – we didn’t play our best over there, but we got back at them today by putting in a really clinical performance, we were really strong in every area.

“We want to go and turn London Irish over. If we play like we did today, we can do it.”

Bedford centre Lewis Robling, who signed from Ealing last summer, reflected negatively on their performance:

“We’re all gutted, absolutely gutted," he said.

“For me, playing here last year, it’s tough to accept. There is no excuse for it really.

“We just weren’t there physically and it showed.

“Whenever we go on that field, wearing the Bedford Blues badge, we give everything, but unfortunately today something didn’t click.

“Next year we’re aiming for the top of the table.”