Nomads defeated by strong Coney Hill side
By joshua stratton
Positives can be taken from second half
Stroud Nomads v Coney Hill 2nd XV
Nomads returned to Fromehall looking to extend their winning run. Once again Nomads had to field a much changed side especially up front. Charlie Foote made a welcome return and Liam Downer made his first appearance for the side.
Coney Hill fielded a strong squad; a powerful pack was backed up by a Fly-Half with an excellent range of kicking and also a huge amount of pace on the wings. Coney Hill dominated the early exchanges with some strong forward carries and driving lineouts that would prove highly effective throughout the course of the game. Their left winger scored their first try after only 5 minutes, cutting back against the defence.
Further possession for Coney Hill followed and they pressed into the Stroud 22. Solid tacking around the fringes from Liam Downer, Rob Shipton and Mark Samak initially kept the line intact however a wide pass from 10 and good hands released the right winger to score.
Stroud finally had some possession although deep in their own territory. Gary Claxton fielded a kick on his own line and made 30m up field. Possession was recycled allowing Jamie Leworthy to make the first of a number of strong bursts up the middle.
A clever kick from scrum half Callum Gibbs forced the opposition back into their own 22 for the first time. Nomads however surrendered possession at the lineout, which was to be their Achilles heel all afternoon.
Coney Hill were able to work their way up the field, where indiscipline at the breakdown allowed a penalty kick to the corner. An efficient catch and drive resulted in a third try. Before Nomads had really had time to respond, Coney Hill had once again shown their lineout prowess with another try from catch and drive.
Half Time Nomads 0 Coney Hill 2nd XV 28
A positive response was called for at Half Time and it was certainly delivered early in the second half. Strong carries from Liam Downer and Cory Baker carried play into the opposition half, where quick ball allowed Sam Leworthy to pick a great line and scythe through the defensive line to score by the posts. Joe Spurrell converted. Nomads had found some renewed confidence and were making use of a much greater amount of possession with some direct running and quick off-loads. The scrummage once again looked solid with the front row of Charlie Foote, Sam Davies and Damien Cox providing a solid base, backed up by Second Rows Lee Marshall and Rob Shipton.
Unfortunately, possession was regularly coughed up at the line out, which often stifled Nomads options, particularly from penalties.
Another powerful surge from Jamie Leworthy took play beyond half way, where a clever switch off play by Chris Toon and a kick ahead turned the defence and caused confusion. Pressure from Chris Toon and Gary Claxton forced an error, the ball was hacked on and Gary Claxton won the race to touchdown. Joe Spurrell again converted to halve the deficit.
Coney Hill however soon extended their lead with yet another well executed catch and drive from the lineout.
Nomads heads however did not drop and even the award on a contentious penalty try did not subdue the positive attitude with ball in hand. Jamie Leworthy again showed his power with a strong run taking play towards the opposition 22. Quick ruck ball and good hands from Chris Toon and Joe Spurrell freed Kyro Thomas to beat his man on the outside and speed into the corner.
Coney Hill showed that it wasn’t just power up front, when their back three combined to spread the ball from one side of the pitch to the other from a kick return. This resulted in their winger surging over in the left hand corner.
Nomads again responded strongly with Cory Baker relishing his switch into the back row with solid defence and strong carries. Battling to the end, Nomads pressed forward. A pick and go from Mark Samak freed Jamie Leworthy, who was hauled down just before the line in the final attack of the game.
Full Time Nomads 19 Coney Hill 2nd XV 49
Despite a very dis-jointed first half performance, Nomads had indeed produced a positive second half response and should take heart from this. With the return of players and a more functional lineout, Nomads should approach future fixtures with confidence especially if they can continue with the quick, confident and accurate handling and support that is at the core of many of their attacks.
Next Fixture Nomads v Matson 2nd XV (Away) Saturday 18th November KO 1430