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Late Jarvis Penalty Sinks Bedford

Full Match Report by ANDI STARR

They made hard work of it at times but Nottingham finally got back to winning ways with a nervy 26-24 victory over Bedford.

The last time these two sides met was in the promotion play offs at the end of last season, and although neither side matched the standard set on that day they served up plenty of entertainment for the Meadow Lane crowd.

Overall Nottingham had slightly the better of it, but having let a slender lead slip they struggled for a period either side of the break.

A battling second half performance saw them regain that lead, although there was still drama at the death. A late penalty form James Pritchard looked to have condemned the Green and Whites to another defeat, but a last gasp effort form Matt Jarvis brought the deserved victory.

A hurried clearance gave the visitors an early lineout and when Nottingham were penalised Bedford again kicked for touch, Paul Tupai grabbing the game's opening try from the resulting setpiece. Pritchard was off target with a difficult conversion.

From the restart though Nottingham cancelled out that score when centre Joe Munro got his first try for the club following a  charge down. Matt Jarvis put the Green and Whites in front with the conversion.

A couple of breaks almost brought chances for Nottingham before an impressive drive gave Jarvis a penalty, but his kick hit the outside of the post.

A Bedford counter attack saw them regain the lead though with a penalty from Pritchard midway through the first half, his second making it 7-11 around the half hour mark.

Jarvis brought it back to 10-11 before Bedford No 8 Nick Fenton-Wells got over for a try in first half injury time, Pritchard making it 10-18 at the break.

Pritchard extended that lead with a penalty in the opening minutes of the second half, only for Jarvis to reply with his second penalty of the day.

And within two minutes Nottingham were back to just a point behind when Tom Calladine broke away from a lineout inside the visitors' 22 to touch down, with Jarvis making it 20-21 with the conversion.

Jarvis then put Nottingham in front with an ambitious but well struck penalty from halfway.

As the clock reached eighty minutes Pritchard restored the Bedford lead with his fourth penalty, but justice was done when Jarvis slotted over a difficult kick in injury time to confirm a much-needed win for Nottingham.


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