Great win for nomads
Huge positives should be taken from this with possibly the most crucial being the ability to reverse the momentum of game that was appearing to be slipping way.
Nomads buoyed by recent victories over Tetbury and Gloucester Old Boys again took on opposition at home. In contrast to battling through last week’s storm, this week Fromehall was bathed in sunshine on an afternoon perfect for rugby. If the weather was an improvement so were the numbers with Nomads fielding a squad of 19 players, including Club Captain Harry Foote returning for the first time since April.
Players: “Socks from Minch”, Grant Nash, Damien Cox, Lee Marshall, Josh Merrett, Nick Stringer, Cory Baker, Mark Samak, Callum Gibbs, Ian Bushall, Harry Foote, Bushy’s brother, Jack Keightley, Sam Strange, Joe Little. Reps: Dave Clutterbuck, Craig, Rob Shipton, Andre Sharp.
Longlevens controlled possession in the first 10 minutes, recycling the ball quickly and varying play. Nomads defence was solid with the back row trio of Nick Stringer, Cory Baker and Mark Samak to the fore in close quarter contact whilst the two Bushalls and Harry Foote negated the sizeable threat Longlevens posed in wider channels through their centre combination. Once again the Nomads scrum was in the ascendency, winning quality possession on their own ball and regularly disrupting Longlevens on their own ball. Strong carries notably from Josh Merrett and Harry Foote took play deep into the opposition 22. Clean ruck ball was won allowing Scrum Half Callum Gibbs to hit Damien Cox on an excellent line to drive over for his first try for the club. Ian Bushall converted.
Longlevens continued to threaten and one interchange of passes almost resulted in a score however the final pass was adjudged forward. Nomads cleared their lines with a pick and drive from Number8 Mark Samak and a clearance kick from Callum Gibbs appearing to have relieved the pressure however excellent hands from the Longlevens back three immediately spread play and allowed their left winger to score in the corner.
Nomads mood remained positive with the backs handling well and making good ground through centres Harry Foote and Bushy’s brother. Joe Little was secure at Full Back and returned a number of kicks with confidence putting Nomads back on the front foot. The centre partnership was at the core of Nomads next try. Another strong scrummage allowed Mark Samak to pick and go before releasing Harry Foote on a strong inside line. Breaking powerfully through a number of tackles, he was able to off load to Bushy’s brother who raced home to score. The try was again converted by Ian Bushall to give Nomads a well-deserved Half Time lead.
Half Time Nomads 14 Longlevens 2nd XV 5
The second half saw a number of changes with Harry Foote taking a well-earned rest, Dave Clutterbuck coming on in the forwards and Andre Sharp on the left wing replacing an injured Jack Keightley. The opening of the second half saw Longlevens immediately on the front foot with their powerful centre breaking a number of tackles to score near the posts with the following conversion reducing the deficit to 2 points.
Longlevens continued their positive use of the ball to quickly score another try out wide to take the lead for the first time in the game. Worse was to follow for Nomads with Ian Bushall suffering a head injury after making yet another brave tackle. The game was stopped for a period but fortunately Ian was able to walk from the field to receive further treatment. A huge amount of re-shuffling was now needed in the back division with Bushy’s brother stepping in at Fly Half, Joe Little and Nick Stringer forming a new centre partnership and Mark Samak pushing out to the right wing.
Longlevens took advantage of this re-shuffle and used the ball well to score, however committed work meant the try scorer was prevented from running around close to the posts and consequently the conversion was missed. This seemed a small event but in time would prove crucial. Longlevens certainly now had not just a 8 point lead but also the momentum. Strong words under the posts demanded a positive response. Nomads finally gained some
second half possession with Sam Strange returning a clearance kick into the opposition half before great hands from the backs freed Andre Sharp, was only stopped from scoring by an untimely slip. Nomads had found renewed confidence and excellent anticipation from Cory Baker allowed him to make an interception and break into the Longlevens 22. A knock on unfortunately halted the attack however yet another strong scrummage led by Socks, Grant Nash and Damien Cox put the Longlevens 9 under pressure. A mis-placed pass was eventually gathered however just as three Nomads players converged on the ball carrier, one of them Callum Gibbs instantly emerged with the ball to score. Bushy’s brother kicked a conversion from out wide to reduce the gap to a single point.
Nomads continued to press on despite losing Josh Merrett, who was replaced by Rob Shipton. Nick Stringer was still winning line out ball, moving in from the centre to maintain a source of possession for the Nomads. A series of short range pick and goes with carries from “Socks” and Lee Marshall pushed Nomads towards the 22. An infringement at the breakdown allowed Bushy’s brother to confidently kick the penalty that put Nomads back into the lead.
The final 5 minutes were a real backs to the wall effort with Longlevens pushing Nomads back into their own 22 after a number of penalty concessions. Longlevens opted for a line out that they won to set up a driving maul that was repelled but the pressure continued to grow. Excellent work at the next line out from Nick Stringer and Lee Marshall disrupted possession allowing the defensive line to push up and force an error in a last ditch attack from the opposition backs. A final scrummage was won allowing Bushy’s brother to kick to touch to end the game.
Full Time Nomads 24 Longlevens 2nd XV 22
This was another performance full of commitment and no liitle skill from the Nomads. Huge positives should be taken from this with possibly the most crucial being the ability to reverse the momentum of game that was appearing to be slipping way.
A note to end on: the final 15 minutes were played by a Nomads team including 6 players over the age of 40!
Next Game v Cheltenham United 2nd XV (Away) Saturday 4th November Kick Off 1430