Two tries from David Williams on his 100th appearance for Nottingham weren’t enough to get past Hartpury, who won their eighth league game in nine matches in a 12 try thriller at The Bay.
Despite Hartpury applying the early pressure, creating a number of try scoring opportunities within the first ten minutes, it was Michael Stronge who got on the scoresheet first. Some bulldozing runs from Josh Poullet and Harry Clayton put the defence on it’s back foot, and Xavier Valentine broke through the line. A simple offload to Stronge to beat the last man and the Green and Whites were in front.
However, it didn’t take long for Hartpury to respond. Three tries in quick succesession gave the visitors a 14 point lead with 20 minutes gone. Will Butler finished a well-executed attack to make the score level before Jack Johnson played in a nice pass to Jake Morris in the right hand corner for Hartpury to take the lead. Matty Jones then intercepted a Michael Green pass in the middle of the field and took it all the way to the house.
Hartpury got another try through Jones again just before halftime to make the score 28-7 heading into the break and nearly got another straight after. They kicked a penalty to the corner and after a couple of phases tried to kick it over the top to their winger. However, Stronge did fantastically to get back and cut it out.
The second half started with Nottingham attacking really well, looking to play themselves back into the game. However, the Hartpury outside centre, Jack Reeves read Sam Hollingsworth’s pass and intercepted it before taking it all the way for the second interception try of the game.
Nottingham came back quickly though, and started scoring some tries of their own. The first came when they were awarded a penalty in a dangerous position. Stronge quickly tapped it, catching the defence off guard, and passed it over to George Cox who found a hole and burst through it for the try.
Williams scored his first try of the game soon after. Morgan Bunting tried a risky cross field kick deep in his own territory, but it paid off as it found Michael Green in space. Green showed a nice bit of pace before offloading it to Jordan Olowofela, who drew in the last defender before passing it on to the speedy winger. Williams finished under the posts to make the score 21-45
Williams quickly got his second after some more nice attacking play from the Green and Whites. Morgan Bunting put in another beautifully executed cross feild kick to the winger who had all the time in the world to put the ball down.
Nathan Tweedy finished another in the corner with five minutes to go, setting up an exciting end to the game as Craig Hammond’s men tried to find one more try to get that all-important loosing bonus point. However, they were unable to do so and the game ended with them still trailing by 14 points.
Nottingham will be looking to break their losing streak next week as they travel to Richmond.