Archers Enjoy Last Minute Winner

After three successive league defeats, and a flooding of their Lady Bay home, Nottingham Rugby picked up a second successive victory at the weekend, in a high-scoring game away to Ampthill.

Coming off the back of a 57-10 victory in a prestigious, mid-season friendly against the British Army, the previous week, Craig Hammond’s Archers picked up where they left off there to run in even more tries as they moved level on points with Hartpury University, and within eight of third placed Doncaster Knights, their next opponents.

Looking back at the 26 January, and the victory over the Army, the Archers led 33-10 at the interval of a game which saw man-of-the-match Harry Graham, as well as that of Emeka Ilione and Antonio TJ Harris, run in two tries apiece, Jack Stapley and Sam Green also crossing as the hosts scored eight tries, a penalty try, and five successful conversions from Morgan Bunting, setting them up micely for the trip to Ampthill.

It was certainly a much-welcome away day after the last one saw them downed following a long trip south, and the Cornish Pirates, earlier in the month (January) and, although the hosts also bagged six tries this time around, it was the Archers who did enough for the points.

A game that swung back-and-forth, and was level at nineteens apiece at the interval, the hosts’ Samson Adejimi crossing twice. Gwyn Parks (2) and Josh Barton (1) with a handful of successful conversions.

Replying though, the Archers would Jack Stapley cross twice alongside further scores from Harry Graham, Archie van der Flier, Michael Stronge and Harry Clayton, whilst Matthew Arden added five conversions and a penalty score, to keep the visitors’ noses in front.

Special mention also needs affording to no former Archer/rugby player, George Cox, who, after eight years at Lady Bay, has now retired from the oval game, coming on for his last appearance in the win over Ampthill.

It’s another tough outing for the Archers in their next league game, they welcoming third placed Doncaster Knights to Lady Bay under the ‘Friday Night Lights’ (23 February, KO 19:45), Hammond’s charges looking to build a little momentum.

Nottingham XV – Archie van der Flier, Antonio TJ Harris, Xavier Valentine, Sebastian Ferreira, Come Joussain, Sam Green, Emeka Ilione, Richard Clift, Michael Stronge, Morgan Bunting, Harry Graham, Javiah Pohe, Jack Stapley, David Williams, Ellis Mee

Lower down the rugby pyramid there was certainly plenty of action witnessed, and several, high-scoring games – eyes towards ‘that’ Counties 1 Midlands East North encounter; before that though, and in the Regional 2 Midlands North, it was to be defeat for three of Nottinghamshire’s four, resident sides.

Mellish were the only, local side to pick up victory, winning 39-24 at Walsall, whilst defeat befell that of West Bridgford, narrowly at Melbourne (28-24), Paviors, a little heavy at Sutton Coldifeld (50-19), and Newark, heavily, at home to leaders Lichfield (67-24), the victors sitting two points ahead of second place Long Eaton.

In the Counties 1 Mids E (N), the two Notts clubs sitting in the bottom half of the table clashed, Southwell defeating Mansfield 22-17 at home, as for ‘that’ score, Ilkeston ran riot in their game, thrashing visitors Boston 155-0 in a somewhat, one-side game.

Nottingham Moderns and Nottingham Casuals continue to do battle with Ashbourne for third place in the Counties 2 Midlands East (N) division, the former picking up victory, 45-5 at home to Ashby, whilst the latter fell to a 33-21 loss against visiting Kesteven; Ashfield saw off their visitors, Grimsby, 24-18, and Newark IIs lost 22-5 on the road at Ashbourne.

Meden Vale continue to push Counties 3 Midlands East (N) leaders, Mosborough, who have a six-point advantage, Vale winning 25-12 at Cleethorpes, and Worksop picked up their first win when home to to third bottom Dronfield IIs, 29-26, whilst there was defeat on the road for both East Retford (50-20) at Matlock IIs, and for Ollerton (62-19) at Bakewell Mannerians.

Friday night meanwhile saw West Bridgford IIs, second in the Counties 3 Midlands East (C) rack up an 78-5 success at home to Long Eaton IIs to keep up pace with leaders Keyworth, who’ve an eight-point advantage (72-64), they putting visiting Ashbourne IIs to the sword in a dominant, 92-5 victory.

Defeats elsewhere saw Mellish IIs downed 86-0 at home to Rolls Royce, Southwell IIs beaten 35-10 at North Hykeham, and Paviors IIs beaten 44-31 off their visitors, Melbourne IIs.

*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).

*Main image @NottinghamRugby the Archers in action at Ampthill.

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