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Brave Nottingham Denied Victory

Match Report by Andi Starr

Nottingham may have contributed much to their own downfall over the last few weeks, with yellow cards in particular costing them dearly, but they were unlucky to suffer a fifth straight defeat.

For much of their British and Irish Cup tie with Munster at Meadow Lane they had looked the better side and certainly enjoyed a greater share of the play.

They dominated the first period, although Munster made the most of the few chances that came their way.

And just when it seemed they had done enough to turn that run of form around, a try in the final minute snatched victory away.

It was disappointing to say the least, having worked so hard to get themselves in front with a late try from centre George Catchpole.

It looked as though it might be enough, but an even later try from Munster gave them a 17-16 win.

An early penalty from Matt Jarvis put the Green and Whites in front and after a prolonged spell of pressure they almost forced an opening down the right wing, but unfortunately there was a foot in touch.

Munster cleared upfield and when the ball went loose at a lineout inside the home 22 Munster flanker Ronan O'Mahony pounced for the touchdown. Jonny Holland converted to make it 3-7 midway through the first half.

A second Jarvis penalty from the restart brought it back to 6-7 as Nottingham continued to dominate possession and keep play in the visitors' half.

Backchat from a Munster forward handed Jarvis a third penalty but this time he was inches wide.

Holland stretched his side's lead with a penalty following a high tackle on halfway before Munster then found themselves a man short following a yellow card for second row Dave Foley.

They really should have stretched that lead further in the dying minutes of the first half though with a sweeping attack down the left that created a two-man overlap.

Fortunately for Nottingham they ignored it and the chance was gone, and so it remained 6-10 at the break.

Nottingham's scrum had been impressive during that first half, and another solid shove brought them a put-in reversal. When they spread the ball they won another penalty for Jarvis to bring them back to 9-10.

Munster thought they were in for another try as they attacked from the restart only to see play brought back for a forward pass.

Although Munster were getting more into the game in the second half, Nottingham were still looking the more threatening and eventually took the lead 12 minutes from time with a well-worked try down the left.

Winger Henry Purdy made the ground before sending in Catchpole for the try, with Jarvis converting to make it 16-10.

But just as most people in the ground were thinking Nottingham had earned the win that might just turn their season round a Munster breakaway saw full back Rory Scannell cross, with Holland's last minute conversion giving the Irishmen a one point win.

And so the Green and Whites remain without a win in Pool 4, and without a win against Munster in four attempts now.


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