Nomads take another step forward
Nomads showed a great deal of heart and have taken another step in the right direction.
Following on from their successful outing under lights last week, Nomads were back in league action against a Gloucester Old Boys side, who had secured two wins and a draw from their games already played. The Nomads were again low on numbers, with a number of call ups to the 1st XV, meaning Stroud only began the game with 14 players.
Fred McCllenan agreed to prop to ensure the game started with contested scrums although Nomads were under pressure in this phase of the game due to being a man down. Storm Brian had arrived at Fromehall and produced driving rain sweeping down the pitch. Nomads had the elements in their favour in the first half and made a confident start with strong carries from Jack Kightley and Cory Baker. Despite the tough conditions, handling was generally secure and Fly Half Ian Bushall was able to carry strongly and release his backs early on to make good ground into Old Boys 22. Jamie Leworthy was hauled down just short and a turnover soon followed that appeared to have released the pressure. A clearance kick from Old Boys however was collected by Nomads Full Back Ky Thomas, who cleverly chipped ahead and raced on to his kick to score in the corner just ahead of the covering defence.
Old Boys responded well and tried to spread the ball wide but solid tackling from Chris Jones and centres Jamie Leworthy and Joe Little stopped any great gains in territory. A speculative kick ahead however bounced kindly for Old Boys and their centred grounded underneath the posts. The conversion pushed Old Boys into a narrow lead. Line outs were a struggle for both sides but rare clean possession allowed Old Boys to drive within 5m of the Nomads line, where despite brave defence an infringement at the ruck allowed Old Boys to power over from a close range tap penalty. Another conversion stretched the lead to 14-5.
Nomads reacted to this with some positive play, debutant Caine Hopkins having a number of strong runs on the wing, which took multiple tacklers to drag him down. One of these runs led to a Stroud scrum from which Mark Samak picked at the base and freed Joe Spurrell, who cleverly took out two defenders before releasing Sam Strange. The winger swerved his way in field for 40m, beating 3 or 4 defenders on a mazy run to touch down under the posts. Joe Spurrell easily converted and the Half Time whistle was blown.
Half Time Nomads 12 Gloucester Old Boys 2nd XV 14
The second half pitted Nomads against the elements but the introduction of Phil Fruin in the back row and Harvey Mead on the wing gained parity numbers. Nomads were soon on the attack and strong carries from Chris Jones and Phil Fruin took play towards the Old Boys 22. A short ball from Joe Spurrell to Mark Samak broke the defensive line however last ditch tackling hauled the Number 8 down just short of the line. The referee however penalised Old Boys and quick thinking from Cory Baker allowed him to tap and go to crash over the line to give Nomads the lead.
Despite the strong wind, Nomads controlled the ball well and constantly forced Old Boys back into their own half. Although struggling to secure their own line out ball, Nomads regularly stole opposition ball with Sam Davis, highly effective in his new role jumping at the front of the line out, the main source of this disruption. Clearing kicks were returned with interest by Sam Strange and Caine Hopkins. Solid ball from the scrum allowed Mark Samak to release Jamie Leworthy on the crash ball to appear to power over the line, only to be denied a try by the referee whose view was obscured and couldn’t see the grounding. Nomads however didn’t have to wait long as a number of powerful forward drives and good handling released Phil Fruin to go over in the right-hand corner. Nomads continued to dominate the last 10 minutes but were unable to add to the scoring.
Full Time Nomads 22 Gloucester Old Boys 2nd XV 14
This was an entertaining game despite the conditions played in a great spirit. Nomads showed a great deal of heart and have taken another step in the right direction.
Next Game - Saturday 28 October V Longlevens 2nd XV KO 150