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Full Time: Nottingham Rugy 54 Melrose 24


THE Meadow Lane faithful were treated to a try fest as Nottingham got their first win in this season's British and Irish Cup.

Lewington try2

Double trouble: Alex Lewington scored a second-half brace for the Green and Whites. Pic: Steve Galloway.

Their 54-24 victory over Melrose saw them leapfrog the visitors in the Pool 8 table.

Melrose played their part too with a second-half fightback, running in three tries to add to Gary Holborn's effort late in the first period.

Two tries in the opening five minutes gave the Green and Whites as good a start as they could have hoped for.

First it was Michael Holford who broke the defence to take play into the Melrose 22. As the ball was moved across field skipper for the night Tim Streather beat the defence to score with Rory Lynn converting.

Almost from the restart David Jackson broke away down the right to get the second, with Lynn again converting to make it 14-nil.

The visitors' first serious attack came to an end when they were penalised midway inside the home half. Their second took them into the Nottingham 22 only for an interception to set the Green and Whites back on the attack.

As they poured forward Alex Shaw went close before Melrose managed to clear to touch.

But from the resulting lineout the Nottingham pack drove over with Tom Calladine getting the touchdown and Lynn making it 21-nil in the 17th minute.

The one-way traffic continued as both Shaw and Rhys Crane were held up, but with the pack camped on the Melrose line Shaw managed to dive over the ruck and get the ball to ground, with Lynn making it 28-nil just before the half hour mark.

A counter attack from the visitors finally saw them on the scoreboard though, after initially running into touch just outside the home 22. They managed to keep possession and prop Holborn forced his way over for the try, although skipper Richard Mill was wide with his conversion attempt.

The Green and Whites were quickly back into their rhythm and a good break and offload from Calladine almost brought a try, but as the Melrose scrum wheeled Nottingham got the put in and drove for the line with Matt Parr getting the try and Lynn's conversion making it 35-5 at the break.

The visitors threatened again at the start of the second half, but Shaun Malton stole a loose ball to send Nottingham back up field.

An impressive drive from midway inside the Melrose half took play deep into the 22 and when the ball was moved out winger Alex Lewington crossed to make it 40-5.

A penalty try soon followed as the incessant pressure from the Nottingham pack proved too much for the Melrose defence, Lynn's straightforward conversion making it 47-5 just ten minutes into the second half.

From that point on though it was Melrose who began to enjoy the better of possession.

A spell of pressure brought them a second try with a long pass from centre field sending winger Joe Helps in for an unconverted try.

Replacement Ross Miller then broke through, with Mill landing his first kick of the night to make it 47-17.

And after a second try from Lewington, again converted by Lynn, it was Mill who completed the scoring when he beat the home defence to get his side's fourth try, adding the conversion to make it 54-24.

Nottingham Rugby: 15 D Jackson 14 A Lewington 13 T Streather (sub: J Cobden, 57) 12 A Forsyth 11 R Crane (sub: R Hough, 57) 10 R Lynn 9 S Romans (sub: F Barnham, 41) 1 M Parr 2 S Malton(sub: S Wright, 70) 3 M Holford (sub: R Bower, 41) 4 D Montagu 5 J Cain (sub: 18 J Quinn, 70) 6 R Cooper 7 T Calladine 8 A Shaw.

Replacements not used: 19 B Wilson.

Nottingham Rugby 54 (A Lewington 2 D Jackson T Streather T Calladine A Shaw M Parr Penalty tries; R Lynn 7 conv) Melrose 24 (R Miller 2 G Holborn J Helps try; R Mill 2 Conv.)

Referee: K Shorte. Attendance: 981


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