The Green and Whites got us underway on a warm November evening on Trentside. However, it was the Pirates who drew first blood. Javier Rojas Alvarez hammered home an early penalty from a long way out to give the visitors an early three-point lead. It wouldn’t take long for Nottingham to get themselves level. At the other end, the Green and Whites won a penalty which was then confidently converted by Shane O’Leary.
Nottingham found themselves on the front foot and soon went ahead in spectacular fashion. A brilliant cross-field kick by Shane O’Leary allowed Kyran Bungaroo to slip in behind the Pirates defence. After feinting in and out of his man, Bungaroo flicked the ball over to Sean Scanlon who emphatically scored the opening try on the 16th minute. O’Leary was unable to follow up with the conversion though as he put his kick just wide of the sticks.
The lead didn’t last long. Thomas Duncan got the final touch for the Pirates after they went over in a big pile on the 23rdminute. Alvarez had made a habit of scoring conversions at The Bay this season and delivered once again for the visitors to put them 8-13 up.
From there on it was very back and forth as the two sides probed each other in search of a breakthrough. Fortunately, it was the Green and Whites who got there first in the 35thminute when O’Leary was able to make amends for his missed conversion earlier in the game. After weathering a late spell of Pirates pressure, Nottingham were just about able to take the game into the break trailing by only two points.
The Pirates struck the first blow of the second half and it was the same old story. Thomas Duncan and Javier Rojas Alvarez provided the points with the latter converting Duncan’s second try of the evening on the 48th minute.
Both sides again became locked up in a stalemate through the best part of the second half. It would take until the 67th minute before another breakthrough would come. Shane O’Leary successfully converted a penalty from inside the 22. It was the 200th league point of the Nottingham 10’s career and brought the Green and Whites back into it.
However, Alvarez was given another chance in front of the posts with just seven minutes to go. The Argentine forward confidently smashed it home from inside the 22 to secure the win for the visitors. The final score: Nottingham 14-23 Pirates.