There’s been a couple of narrow, agonising defeats for Nottingham Rugby Club of late as the Championship side, currently in sixth place, fell to December defeats against Bedford Blues and Jersey Reds.
That takes their losing streak to three straight at present as they, weather-permitting, travel to Ampthill on Saturday (17 December), before hosting Coventry on Boxing Day (26 December), two sides whom are above the Archers in the league standings.
Away to Bedford, Nottingham lost by the odd point in sixty-three, Harry Clayton with two of the visitors’ five tries in a 32-31 defeat, the hosts’ William Maisey keeping them in-front with two penalties and three conversions before coming off in the closing stages.
Meanwhile, at home to Jersey, in their last outing, the Archers were felled 31-22 as Taiye Olowofela bagged two tries for the hosts, Morgan bunting with a penalty and a conversion, whilst Antonio Harris’ thirty-three minute hat-trick ensured the Reds took the points back home.
After third-place (at present) Coventry, visit Lady Bay over the festive season, Nottingham begin the new year with a long trip to Cornwall, and the Cornish Pirates, on 13 January, before welcoming Clady to Notts a week later.
In Regional 1 North-East, there’s still not much joy for the county’s two representatives with Paviors sitting in ninth, and West Bridgford propping up the pile in twelfth, the pairs’ last success coming late-October, early-November respectively, both sides having now lost their last four outings.
Weather-permitting, Paviors play Alnwick next, whilst West Bridgford have Driffield, before moving onto the new year and hopefully, a better, second half of the campaign.
Newark are the only representatives in the Regional 2 North Midlands division, and they currently sit in sixth place, twenty points off leaders Long Eaton, and having won five and drawn two of their twelve games thus far.
In their last three outings Newark have won one and drawn one, following up a 14-14 draw at Melbourne with a 29-22 home defeat to Moseley Oak, before winning their last foray, away to Nuneaton Old Edwardians, 24-3, in early December.
The next two outings for Newark meanwhile sees them facing two sides currently residing in the bottom three as they travel to third-bottom Shillians on Saturday 17, before starting the new year at home to current bottom club, Belgrave, on 7 January.
Mellish are currently sitting in second in the Counties 1 Midlands East (North) division at the halfway stage of the season, six behind leaders Hinckley IIs, who they face next, going into the top of table of the table clash on the back of four straight wins.
November would see Mellish rack up successes over Burton and Southwell at home, before winning away to Ashbourne at the end of the month, then, in early December, picked up another win with a 48-10 success over visiting Birstall.
Southwell meanwhile, they’ve won four of their twelve outings to date, their last being a 32-24 home success against Ilkeston in late-November, before losing 35-10 to Lincoln in their last outing; next up, weather-permitting, they host third-placed Loughborough, the Notts side looking to break into the top six.
Mansfield lead the way in the Counties 2 Midlands East (North), their ten wins from twelve giving them a slight, three-point advantage over second place Kesteven, who they visit in the New Year after finishing this one with the visit of Grimsby.
Three other Notts clubs make up the top six in the division with Nottingham Moderns, Nottingham Casuals, and Ashfield, separated by just four points, the trio, in their last outings, saw the Moderns losing 28-23 to eighth place Belper, the Casuals defeated third place Boston 47-23, and Ashfield won 17-7 at home to third bottom Balewell Mannerians.
Depending on the cold weather snap, all but one of the Notts clubs are at home on 17 December as Mansfield welcome Grimsby (1 vs. 9) to Eakring Road, Moderns entertain bottom club East Retford (3 vs. 12) in a local affair at Willford Village, Casuals take on visiting Gainsborough (5 vs. 7) at the Weir Fields Recreation Ground, and Ashfield take on Boston (6 vs. 3) at Larwood Park.
Meanwhile, in the lower echelons of the rugby pyramid, and the Counties 3 Midlands East (North) East division, there are eight Notts representatives amongst the twelve in play, the top four being that of Southwell IIs, Newark IIs, Nottingham Medics and Meden Vale, they being split by seven points.
With all sides in the division having won at least twice, Cleethorpes at the foot of the table are on twelve points and just four behind second bottom Worksop on sixteen, the last outings in the division, at the beginning of December, saw mixed fortunes.
Leaders Southwell IIs saw off visiting North Hykeham, 27-7, Newark IIs defeated Meden Vale 16-3, whilst the battle between seventh place Nottinghamians, and tenth place Worksop, brought about a 55-point game, the hosts winning 33-22 at Adbolton Lane.
*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).
*Main image @NottinghamRugby Nottingham were narrowly beaten by Jersey last time out.