Some brilliant defensive work and a thrilling hat trick from David Williams saw Nottingham convincingly claim their first win in this season’s Championship Cup over Hartpury.
As the game kicked off, Nottingham has the majority of the early possession but weren’t able to finish of their numerous attacks thanks to a couple of mistakes inside the 22.
It was Hartpury, though, who got on the scoreboard first. Against the run of play, they found themselves with a lineout 10 metres out. They swiftly executed a driving maul with Luke Stratford breaking away and diving for the line for the first try of the night.
However, Craig Hammond’s side responded well. Marcus Ramage set up a dangerous attack when he broke through the Hartpury defence and got inside the 22 before being tackled. Hartpury may have kept out that attack but weren’t so lucky with the next one. Nottingham quickly spread the ball out Williams from a lineout, and finished in the corner for his first try of the night.
Nottingham then took the lead with a fantastic try just before the break. Javiah Pohe, who had only just come on for the injured Jack Neville, burst through the middle of the defence and nicely offloaded it to Michael Green. Green then offloaded it to Sam Hollingsworth, who looped it over to Williams. Williams reached out to the line for his second try of the first half.
Unlucky to be down at halftime, Hartpury came out of the break firing. They quickly created a number of good chances, none as good as when Harry Tarling shrugged off a couple of tackles and found himself with a 3-on-1 on the left wing. They butchered the final offload though, and Nottingham escaped with their lead intact.
Nottingham’s defence remained solid, keeping out the onslaught of Hartpury attacks for the first 20 minutes of the second half. They eventually put together a couple of nice attacking plays of their own, but the visitors defence remained as stubborn as the home side’s.
The Green and Whites eventually got through with less than 15 minutes left to play when Hollingsworth kicked a penalty to the corner. They turned the lineout to a driving maul and Harry Clayton pushed over to extend the lead to 10 points.
Williams then put the game to bed with his hat trick try. The winger took the pass from Sam Hollingsworth at the halfway line, spotted a gap in the defence and turned on the after burners to take it all the way to the house.
Hartpury did find a way to get a consolation try with the clock in the red through their winger Bradley Denton.
The fantastic win is Nottingham’s first since October, and they’ll look to kick on from here as they travel to face Ealing Trailfinders next weekend.