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Nottingham 19 vs Bedford Blues 10 - Match Report

Nottingham Give Bedford the Blues - by Joe Cobden

A floodlit Meadow Lane saw a crowd of over 1300 people entertained by a Nottingham victory over Bedford which finished 19-10 to the home side to kick start the Green and Whites' season.

Bedford Match Report

Nottingham started promisingly; a superb early break from Shaun Malton set up a tough first penalty for debutant Will Maisey. This didn't faze the young fly half and he duly slotted home the penalty to make it 3-0.

Nottingham's iron curtain defence was in full force during a period of early pressure from Bedford who mounted attack after attack. Nottingham managed to hold on and clear the danger with the clearance gained good field position which led to another tricky, yet kickable penalty. Again, Maisey stepped up confidently putting it over from 45 yards to make it 6-0.

The match remained fairly open, with both teams looking to show their attacking capabilities when given the opportunity. Bedford forced a penalty at the breakdown in the 20th minute to get themselves into the match, Pritchard making it 6-3.

However, Nottingham were not to dwell on this. The following re-start saw them earn a penalty, which saw Maisey restore their six point lead.

Bedford then produced some incisive rugby that opened up Nottingham's defence, allowing Bedford the chance to take three points following an infringement at the breakdown. Instead, Bedford opted for the corner and their courage was rewarded with the first try of the game for Tom Williams from a clever line out move. The conversion was added by Pritchard to make it 10-9 to Bedford.

With half time approaching, a superb solo 50 yard break from Ed Styles saw him fall a few metres short of the try line. It was then only a professional foul which prevented Nottingham from scoring their first try of the season.

The resulting penalty saw the Blues lose a man to the sin bin and skipper Brent Wilson confidently chose the corner over the posts. The Nottingham pack seized upon their one man advantage, bulldozing their way over with an unstoppable driving maul from five metres out. It was the captain who managed to get the ball down over the line for their first five pointer of the year. Maisey converted and Nottingham went in at the break 16-10 up.

The second half failed to live up to the spectacle of the first half as both teams tired. They showed intent to play but struggled to string many phases together. Nottingham's defence was to hold firm all half, with Bedford never looking like they were going to break them down. This was backed up once again with a strong scrummaging performance from the forwards who created a further penalty opportunity for Maisey.

His flawless left boot provided another three points to make it 19-10 with twenty to go. The fly half was taken off shortly after, however his impeccable kicking display and attacking performance was to earn him the man of the match award on debut.

Nottingham were in control for the rest of the match and a couple of narrowly missed penalties from Louis Grimoldby - one hit the post - late on could have made the score line even sweeter. The match finished 19-10 and was a promising start for the season ahead from the Green and Whites.