LATE WORCESTER TRY SINKS NOTTINGHAM YOUNG GUNS - BY ANDI
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.