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A late, late Jake Hicklin try in the last play of the game secured an impressive and exciting win 38 – 36 away at Ealing Trailfinders for Nottingham Academy.
In an enthralling match that each team led multiple times, Nottingham set the tone, after Ealing flew out the blocks from the kick-off and resolute multi-phase defence kept them at bay. After sustained pressure the hosts eventually broke Nottingham’s defence, with a score under the posts.
This spurred the visitors into life and on their first attack Natty Brisco bulldozed his way over and Man of the Match Bouchier converted to level the scores. Ealing scored another converted try and a penalty to extend their lead, however, just before the interval, Natty Brisco scored his second, again converted by Luke Bouchier to leave the interval score 17 – 14 to the hosts.
In the second half, e an early score from Ealing, followed by three scores from Nottingham through Henri Styles, and the impressive Ed Cox, Bouchier converting two, gave the impression that the game was won with 10 minutes left with the Score 33 to 22. Back came the impressive Ealing team with two converted tries to take the lead back 36 to 33.
Coaches Steve McGinnis and Joe Cobden were resolved to the narrow defeat, however, there was a glimmer of hope with the official calling last play form the kick-off. Amazingly Nottingham won the restart, two penalties followed, and the young guns ended up with a five-metre lineout. The drama continued when they lost the lineout only for a stealthy Jake Hicklin, to appear around the blindside and steal the ball off the scrum-half’s toe to touch down. After consulting with his AR, the try was awarded and Nottingham secured a close exciting win.
Thanks to all the players who stepped in last minute to bolster the squad, and to all those parents and families that took the team to London. The next Academy fixture is a Premiership encounter with the Northampton Saints U18 on Thursday 13th December at Moulton College, 7.45pm KO.