A hat trick from skipper Brent Wilson was not enough to prevent
Nottingham from slipping to another defeat, beaten 27-28 by bottom
of the table Ealing Trailfinders.
With just 11 points separating the sides before the game it was
a vital one for both.
The Green and Whites had enough possession, and territory, to
have won the game comfortably, but a succession of mistakes cost
them vital points.
Ealing defended with determination and made the most of the
chances that came their way, including several that were handed to
them on a plate.
Before the game, the Meadow Lane crowd bade an emotional
farewell to 'local hero' David Jackson, following his decision to
retire on medical advice.
An early penalty from Ben Ward gave the visitors the lead, and
within minutes they added the opening try as Ronnie McLean chased a
kick through down the left before getting to the ball first to
Ward converted to make it 0-10 in only the seventh minute.
But when they lost control of the ball on halfway, more soccer
skills saw debutant Nottingham winger, Olly Woodburn, break clear
to halve the deficit, Rory Lynn off target with the conversion.
A good passage of play from the Green and Whites took them deep
into Ealing territory. Although they knocked on, they quickly
regained possession and won a penalty, which they kicked to touch.
From the resulting lineout the pack drove Wilson over for the
equalising try, Lynn this time adding the conversion to put them in
It was a short-lived lead though as Ealing took a quick penalty
on halfway and worked the ball out to the wing where Phil Chesters
managed to squeeze over for an unconverted try.
Wilson and Alun Walker both went close as Nottingham attacked
from another lineout before Ealing found themselves a man short
when Matt Evans was yellow carded.
But the visitors did well to hold Wilson up when the Nottingham
pack drove over from a 5-metre scrum.
The pressure eventually brought a penalty for Lynn to level the
scores on the forty minute mark.
But they then conceded ten points in first half injury time - a
penalty from Ward, quickly followed by a second try for McLean from
a move that started with an interception at another Nottingham
Ward's conversion made it 15-25 at the break.
Another drive from a close range lineout brought a second try
for Wilson eight minutes into the second half, only for Ward to add
his third penalty of the day minutes later.
Ealing again found themselves short-handed, this time, scrum
half Morgan Thompson sent to the sin-bin as the Nottingham pressure
Although the Green and Whites dominated most of the second half
it was nine minutes from time before they eventually forced the
bonus point try, Wilson completing his hat trick and replacement
Matt Jarvis converting to bring them back to within a point.
But the visitors held out, and even had a try disallowed for a