North Midlands U20s 25 – 48 NLD U20s
NLD took to the road for their second competitive game in what was expected to be a stern test against a well regarded North Midlands side.
The NLD coaches rotated the squad to ensure players were given the opportunity to represent the county and a chance to impress the onlooking midland selectors.
The squad comprised:
Taylor, William (Paviors RFC)
Tweedie, Finla (Newark RFC)
Bloomfield, Josh (NTU)
Peachy, James (NTU)
Aikman, Rob (Notts Uni)
Barnes, Joe (Worksop College)
Kellaway, Hugo (Notts Uni)
Spendlove, Will (Notts Uni)
Collingwood, Tommy (NTU)
Lamb, Dan (NTU)
Harris, George (West Bridgford RFC)
Morley, Jonny (Belper RFC)
Purcell, Xander (West Bridgford RFC)
Perkins, Olly (Notts Uni)
Ellison, Will (Newark RFC)
Butcher, Jordan (Spalding RFC)
Hicklin, Jake (West Bridgford RFC)
Pomfret, George (Lincoln RFC)
Watt, Logan (Newark RFC)
Beech, Josh (Melbourne RFC)
Helliwell, Will (Melton Mowbray RFC)
Heale, James (Sutton Bonnington Uni)
Dowdy, Tom (Lincoln RFC)
It was a strong start from NLD, as the visitors dominated the early exchanges interspersed with a couple of penalties for both sides that were duly converted for a score of 3 – 3.
The first try of the match was scored following excellent vision from stand-off Barnes who executed a cross field kick that was chased, caught and offloaded by Taylor to Aikman. From the restart NLD maintained possession and pressure, and it wasn’t long before a second try was scored as NLD moved the ball through several phases before sweeping it back across the the face of the pitch where the scoring roles were reversed – this time seeing Taylor finish the movement. 3 – 15 (converted by Kellaway).
As NLD began to grow in confidence so did their play. Xander Purcell was the next on the scoresheet as the lively backrow held his space wide and collected a miss pass to dot down in the corner.
10 minutes later is was Barnes who spotted space in behind the opposition line, a chip kick and collect saw him burst through the line for a fine individual effort, converted by Kellaway. 3 – 27
With the last play of the first half NLD again executed well as they kept up pressure in the North Midlands 22. This time it was the turn of the magnificent Bloomfield who collected a midfield pass and provided the spectators with a real treat as he showed the ball out wide before dummying back inside and under the posts.
Half Time: 3 – 34
NLD were expecting a backlash post half time, following a dominant display. Sure enough the second half belonged to North Midlands as they applied their own pressure and scored an early try taking the score to 10 – 34.
NLD utilised their bench and a response was soon observed as a Penalty Try was awarded following excellent work by the forwards. As opposed to kicking on NLD sat back and allowed the North Midland stock dominate the middle part of the second half and had no response to three quick tries scored through some powerful play and narrowing the scoreline to 25 – 41.
With the final ten minutes to play further changes were made and NLD upped the tempo of the game. This time the final score belonged to them as an excellent set piece saw the ball brought through a defensive gap for Barnes to cut back and score wide right – converting his own try and leaving the final score at 25 – 48.
This was a proud day for NLD. Having been promoted from Division B into the A league and facing renowned tough opponents, they played with real confidence and freedom and secured top spot in their group. They were true to themselves and their commitment, hunger and desire to do well was obvious for all to see.