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Nottingham 19 vs Worcester Warriors 26 - Match Report

LATE WORCESTER TRY SINKS NOTTINGHAM YOUNG GUNS - BY ANDI STARR

Nottingham's youngsters were given a harsh lesson in the importance of taking chances as they slipped to a 26-19 defeat in their opening British and Irish Cup tie at Meadow Lane.

Worcester Cup Match Report

Worcester Warriors spent much of the game in their own half, but their ruthless streak saw them steal victory in the closing minutes after the Green and Whites had dominated possession and territory.

The visitors mounted just two attacks of any note in a one-sided first half, but both brought scores as Dean Hammond strolled over for a simple try in the opening minutes, and Christopher Eden landed a penalty to add to his earlier conversion.

A catch and drive brought Nottingham their opening score but it was Dan Mugford who caught the eye - and earned the man-of-the-match award - with three penalties from the halfway line.

Although the visitors were stronger in the second half it was still Nottingham who enjoyed the greater share of possession.

But they struggled to break through the Worcester defence and a try from Perry Humphreys five minutes from time gave the visitors the points.

With both sides giving their younger players much-needed game time it was Worcester who took an early lead when winger James Stephenson intercepted midway inside his own half and made plenty of ground down the right wing before being brought down. As they recycled the ball they quickly created a three-man overlap and centre Hammond had a clear run in for the opening try, Eden converting for a 7-nil lead.

The Green and Whites responded with a long spell of possession. Several drives threatened a score and when one of those was stopped illegally Worcester's Mike Daniels was yellow carded. Nottingham took immediate advantage driving skipper for the day Matt Everard over, with Mugford levelling the score with the conversion.

And it was Mugford who did particularly well to put his side in front with a penalty from the halfway line three minutes later.

He repeated that long-range effort just before the half hour, only for Eden to cancel out that score with a penalty from only Worcester's second attack of the half.

Mugford's third penalty, again from halfway, gave the Green and Whites a 16-10 lead at the break.

Having had so much of the game in that first period a six point lead was scant reward for their efforts, and when they were penalised fielding the restart for Eden to cut that lead back to three points the danger signals were there.

Nottingham continued to dominate possession though, but a fourth penalty from Mugford around the hour mark was their only score of the second half as they still could not break down the belligerent Worcester defence.

The visitors had done well to restrict the home side to that single score despite a second yellow card, this time for prop Jack Cosgrove, and they came more into the game over the final quarter with two more Eden penalties in the space of five minutes levelling the scores.

Wth Worcester finishing the stronger a yellow card for Tom Calladine gave them a clear advantage and they eventually forced the winning score as full back Perry Humphreys got clear down the left wing to touch down five minutes from time, Eden converting to make it 19-26.