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Nottingham 22 vs Plymouth Albion 19 - Match Report

A hat trick from skipper Brent Wilson put Nottingham in a position to make a winning start to life at The Bay, but it took a last gasp penalty from Rory Lynn to finally clinch the points with a 22-19 victory over Plymouth Albion.

They forged enough chances in the first quarter to have won handsomely, but their execution let them down.

Fighting for their lives - on and off the pitch - Albion looked capable of capitalising on such wastefulness but Lynn's kick, the last of the game, meant they travelled home with just a losing bonus point for their efforts.

Albion had chances of their own, with Declan Cusack missing four first half kicks at goal.

It was a big occasion in Nottingham's history: a great deal of hard work has gone into creating a good facility, and no-one was disappointed. Comments about a "proper rugby club" came from all quarters of the ground.

But the game was marred by a serious injury to Dan Mugford, who has made such a big impression for Nottingham this season and was playing against his former club.

After Cusack had missed an early penalty Mugford started a break out of defence that almost brought a try, but landed badly as he was tackled. After a lengthy delay he had to be stretchered off.

A threatening break form Paul Grant again put the Green and Whites in a scoring position but they lost control of the ball.

As Albion counter-attacked a good tackle from Billy Robinson kept them out but they quickly forced a second penalty chance only for Cusack to pull his kick wide.

A third break form Nottingham, this time from Toby Freeman, set up another good position but an interception allowed Albion to race out of defence, with winger Ben Foley getting clear for the game's opening try midway through the first half.

Cusack was off target with his conversion attempt, and minutes later Foley also had to leave the action with injury.

As the Green and Whites looked to get straight back into the game it was Grant who took them into another scoring position, only for a knock on to frustrate them.

Cusack finally found his range to add a penalty to make it 0-8 just before the half hour, but a powerful scrum from the Nottingham pack brought them a penalty which they put into the corner.

The resulting lineout saw Wilson drop over for his first of the day, with replacement Lynn adding the conversion to make it 7-8.

Albion hit back almost immediately, taking advantage of missed tackle for Eoghan Grace to cross, but Cusack could not add the extras.

Another penalty in first half injury time brought Nottingham another close range lineout, and a second try for Wilson to go in at half time leading 14-13, Lynn having converted.

Wilson's third in the early minutes of the second half made it 19-13 and he was unlucky not to get a fourth when the ball was knocked out of his hands as he crossed the line.

The visitors frustrated Nottingham's attempts to stretch their lead, and when they had the opportunity to counter they did so effectively only for handling errors let them down.

Eventually they forced a couple of penalties, and a change of kicker brought a change of fortunes as replacement Lawrence Rayner landed six points in as many minutes to level the scores and set up a tense last few minutes.

As Nottingham looked to force a winning score a close range scrum brought them a penalty for Lynn, who won it with what proved to be the last kick of the game.