Friday Night’s Alright For Archers

But a handful of games across the county survived the inclement weather conditions in the rugby this past weekend, Championship high-fliers, Nottingham, jumping up to second, for 24 hours at least, with another, twelve point come-from-behind success.

Hosting divisional newcomers, Cambridge, under Lady Bay’s ‘Friday Night Lights,’ Craig Hammond’s side found themselves twelve down inside the opening seven minutes, E      lias Caven (James Benson, conversion) and Samuel Hanks both crossing for the visitors.

It was a scenario that awakened the Archers, Hammo’s charges running in three tries to overturn the 12-point deficit as Joseph Woodward, Marcus Ramage and Kai Owen all crossed for the hosts; Cambridge though snatched their second try of the game late in the half, through Sam Edwards, to lead by two (19-17) at the interval.

Nottingham’s first try of the afternoon saw Ryan Olowofela pick a hole in the visiting back-line before feeding Woodward to slide home, then, five minutes later, Ramage made a lung-bursting run from halfway and never stopped until he’d crossed the visitors’ white line.

Levelled at twelve apiece, the Archers took the lead on the half hour when Owen received the ball and made a drive for the Cambridge line, crossing well for the score, the visitors though proving stubborn opponents in a tight, opening half.

Jack Dickinson then gave the Archers the lead for the second time, early in the second half, driving over for the bonus point as the hosts moved 22-19 ahead, the score staying that way the remainder of the contest, they holding on for another win.

Victory for Doncaster Knights, 38-29 at Cornish Pirates, saw them leapfrog the Archers into second spot on Saturday afternoon, moving three ahead, and in behind early pace-setter, Ealing Trailfinders; Nottingham, five off leaders Ealing six games into the season, are away to Bedford Blues next, on 16 December, before finishing 2023 with a trip to Coventry on Boxing Day.

Nottingham RFC Starting XV – Kai Owen, Jack Dickinson, Dan Richardson, Sebastian Ferreira, Come Joussain, Iosefa Maloney-Fiaola, Nathan Tweedy, James Cherry, Michael Stronge, Samuel Hollingsworth, Ryan Olowofela, Joseph Woodward, Marcus Ramage, David Williams, Ellis Mee

Elsewhere in Nottinghamshire’s rugby scene, and with a number of games being beaten by the weather, only six clubs were in action.

Seventh in Counties 1 Midlands East (North), Mansfield slipped to a 38-20 loss away to fourth place Loughborough, whilst leaders Hinckley are on an early march at the top, currently leading the way by thirteen points.

In the Counties 2 Midlands East (North) there was narrow successes for both Notts clubs that played, Nottingham Casuals in fourth and five behind a visiting Ashbourne side who they defeated in a tight encounter, 27-26; Newark IIs meanwhile moved level with Ashby, and Gainsborough, at the other end of the table, they sitting on 22 points each, the Notts club winning 24-15.

Meanwhile, at the top end of Counties 2 Midlands East (Central) there was a top of the table clash in West Bridgford, Bridgy’s IIs narrowly losing 20-17 against leaders Keyworth in a battle of the top two, the victors opening a slender, six point advantage; on the other-hand, bottom club Nottinghamians, they suffered their tenth defeat in eleven outings when dropping to a 34-7 road loss at Long Eaton IIs.

*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).

*Main image @NottinghamRugby the Archers are getting used to celebrating wins.

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