It may be an understatement to say the scoreline might not suggest a particularly exciting affair, looking more like the result of a football match than a game of rugby. However, Nottingham and Hartpury gave us a tight, tense game that came down to the final minute, with the visitors eventually emerging victorious thanks to a penalty midway through the second half which proved to be the only points of the game.

The first half wasn’t without any big chances either. Both teams had their own swings in momentum where they looked like they could have mounted a serious chance but neither were able to hammer in that final nail and score. 

A couple of mistakes from Nottingham in the first ten minutes lead to Hartpury winning a penalty deep in the Green and White half and Nottingham’s talismanic winger David Williams getting sent to the sin bin for a tip tackle. Hartpury kicked their penalty to the corner, but some excellent try line defence from the home side kept them out.

Craig Hammond’s men grew into the game though and put together a nice attack in the following ten minutes, eventually winning a penalty thirty metres out. Matt Arden opted to go for the posts but his kick smacked against the left upright and the game remained scoreless.

Despite the missed penalty, the Green and Whites continued to put Hartpury under pressure, but too many mistakes prevented them from getting anything on the board.

Mark Cornwell’s men had a huge chance to take the lead with just five minutes left in the first half, driving all the way to the Nottingham try line and winning a penalty. Morgan Adderley Jones decided to make the seemingly easy kick for the corner, but the ball bounced off his foot and sailed over the tryline past the dead ball line.

When the second half began it became clear that the scoreboard operator would be just as inactive as in the first half, with neither team able to carve out any clear cut chances.

That was, however, until Hartpury worked the ball up to within thirty metres of the Nottingham tryline and won a penalty. Trying not to replicate Arden’s effort earlier in the game, Mike Austin’s kick sailed through the uprights to put the first points on the board 61 minutes in.

Nottingham did their best to try and get back, but with just five minutes to go Hartpury mounted an attack to try and put the game out of reach, and they nearly had the try that would have prevented the home side taking a losing bonus point, their forwards pushing their way over the line. However, the referee ruled that the ball had been held up.

When Nottingham cleared their lines though, Hartpury mounted another long attack. Not necessarily looking to score, rather kill time, they kept the ball until the clock hit the red and booted it out to claim the 3-0 win.

Nottingham will be looking to get back to winning ways next week, welcoming bottom of the table London Scottish to The Bay. Meanwhile Hartpury will enjoy a two week break before they return to their home ground to take on Coventry.