It was defeat at the third time of asking in this seasons’ RFU Championship as Craig Hammond’s Nottingham side fell to a 30-19 loss away to Doncaster Knights on Saturday afternoon.
Having won their opening two games, including at Lady Bay the previous week, expectations were for another success for the Archers, and it looked that way as the visitors scored two, unanswered tries, in the opening five minutes.
Full-back Jordan Olowofela crossed in the opening minute to afford the Archers a five point lead, whilst winger David Williams added a second try just minutes later; with Morgan Bunting’s conversion added to that, Hammond’s side found themselves twelve points ahead with five on the clock.
It took the hosting Knights another ten minutes before they finally registered any points, having missed a penalty eight minutes in, the hosts added a penalty score after fifteen minutes, and they never looked back.
Two tries, from Tom Doughty and Harry Wilson, and another penalty sandwiched between saw the hosts overturn that twelve point deficit to lead 18-12 at the interval, one which they extended early in the second period when moving eleven clear, Samuel Olver adding a try to his overall points tally that also included two penalties and two conversions, they adding to as the game progressed.
The Knights had moved into a 30-12 lead after just 53 minutes before fly-half Samuel Hollingsworth, on for Bunting minutes earlier, added a try of his own, converting for the extra score, neither side being able to add to that as the hosts held on for the victory.
Victory for the hosting Knights saw them move into second place in the Championship table, a point behind leaders Ealing Trailfinders, Ampthill move third whilst Nottingham dropped to fourth; there’s a bit of a with before the next game though, Lady Bay playing host to the leading Trailfinders on Friday 17 November (KO 19:45).
The Archers’ starting XV, away to the Knights was – Kai Owen, Jack Dickinson, Jake Bridges, Sebastian Ferreira, Come Joussain, George Cox, Jacob Wright, Richard Clift, Michael Stronge, Morgan Bunting, Jordan Olowofela, Joseph Woodward, Marcus Ramage, David Williams, Ellis Mee
In Regional 2 Midlands North it was Paviors that came out on top in the game with local rivals West Bridgford, the hosts moving up to fourth in the table behind that of Lichfield, Long Eaton, and Tamworth following a 31-21 win.
Christopher Eggleshaw crossed twice for Pavs as they ran in five tries (securing the bonus points), Ben Taylor, Will Taylor and Joshua Flanagan also registering; in reply Josh Pearson, Ross Walker and Luke Brown cross for Bridgy’s three.
Paviors – Matt Molyneux, William Taylor, Douglas Billam, Morgan Jones. Alexander Rimmington, George Billam, Ben Taylor, Daniel Hyams, Owen Taylor, Jake Baldry, Theo Collier, Aaron Langan, Joshua Flanagan, Joshua Alton-Smith, Christopher Eggleshaw (subs – Tom Gladwin, Benjamin Allen, Danny Green)
West Bridgford – Jacob Heath, Oliver Haddon, Ross Walker, Ryan O’Connor, Amrit Sharma, Calum Gunn, Harry Preston, Rhoderick McNaughton, William Greenwood, Joshua Crane, Joshua Shaw, Jasper Allen, Joshua Pearson, Luke Brown, Henry Henson (subs – Michael Dean, George Harris)
Newark, in seventh, produced a sterling performance to shut-out high-flying Tamworth 17-0, at home, Sam Dobson and Josh Ashe with the tries alongside two conversions and a penalty from James Tarbatt, whilst Mellish, in tenth, won 20-17 away to Wolverhampton.
There was differing fortunes for mid-table duo, Southwell and Mansfield, in the Counties 1 Midlands East (North) division, the former seeing off visitors Nuneaton Old Edwardians 30-7, whilst the latter lost 36-5 at home to visiting Lincoln.
Four Notts-based clubs were in action in the Counties 2 Midlands East (North), Nottingham Moderns sitting joint-third after a narrow, low-scoring game with visitors Derby IIs, the Moderns winning 8-3 to move level with Melton Mowbray, and behind the front two of Kesteven, and Ashbourne.
Melton Mowbray picked up a 20-17 victory away to fifth place Nottingham Casuals, whilst the lowly pairing of Ashfield, and Newark IIs, met at the home of the former, who ran out 25-17 victors.
The Counties 3 Midlands East (North) sees Meden Vale joint-second with Bakewell Mannerians, two points behind leaders Chesterfield Panthers, the Notts side winning 26-10 away to mid-table East Retford, whilst five local clubs were in action in the Counties 3 Central as Keyworth lead West Bridgford IIs by two points at the top.
With the leaders inactive, Bridgy’s IIs saw off a stern Melbourne IIs 19-12 at home, sixth place Southwell IIs won 25-10 away to Mellish IIs, whilst there was defeat for both Nottinghamians, 34-15, at Rolls Royce, and Paviors IIs suffered a heavy 53-7 loss away to Sleaford.
*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).
*Main image @NottinghamRugby pain in the rain as Nottingham are beaten in Doncaster.