1 Lee Marshall2 Sam Davies3 Damien Cox4 Nick Stringer5 James Nash6 Cory Baker7 Tom Flanagan8 Mark Samak9 Jake Marsh 10 Ian Bushall 11 Dom Stephenson 12 Jamie Leworthy 13 Chris Toon 14 Alex Nash 15 Ben Wilkes 16 Lee Morrice 17 Owen 18 Sam Viggers 19 Tom Munson.
A strong wind pushed the Cainswick kick-off straight into touch however their pack immediately put the Nomads scrum under pressure and took the ball against the head. As they looked to move the ball wider the Nomads defence was solid with Leworthy and Toon leading the line. Cainswick regularly used the wind in the first half and kicked in behind the Nomads defence – Wilkes covered well and as ever always looked to run the ball back. Despite beating a number of tacklers and making ground up to halfway the ball was lost and again offered Cainswick the chance to apply pressure in the scrum. Nomads defence was again secure but they were penalised for a late hit and Cainswick kicked for the corner. Great pressure from Stringer caused disruption in the lineout and Samak was able to snaffle the loose ball. Driving towards the 22, the ball was secured and Nomads showed their attacking intent with Marsh and Bushall spreading play to Leworthy, who broke the first tackle before finding Marsh supporting on the inside. As the defence scrambled back, an astute kick ahead allowed Toon to outpace his opposite number and regather to score out wide. 0-5.
Again the restart when directly into touch but the Nomads scrum was soon under pressure again. Samak secured possession at the base despite the pack going backwards and with good support from Baker was able to get over the gain line. Marsh and Bushall this time released Toon, who was able to offload to Stephenson. Making good ground down the wing, he was able to recycle the ball and again Nomads looked to use the ball in wider channels although as on a number of occasions handling was not the best and the move broke down. With Nomads scrum under pressure and mistakes a plenty Cainswick worked their way back into the game and used their superiority to drive Nomads back over their own line from a 5m scrum. Try Converted. 7-5.
Owen replaced James Nash and instantly bolstered the scrum, offering Samak and Marsh the opportunity to attack from the base. Samak picked and fed Leworthy, who hit a hard line, providing front- foot ball for Davies and Baker to carry strongly and continued the forward momentum. Excellent vision from Marsh produced a perfectly weighted chip through. Although covered, pressure from Toon and Wilkes forced the ball to be carried over the Cainswick line. Samak drove from the base and was stopped only a 1m out but Cainswick were penalised allowing Marsh the opportunity to take a quick tap and power over close to the posts. Bushall Converted. 7-12.
Nomads were soon back on the attack after a secure take from Marshall. Marsh fed Flanagan, who made good ground before Bushall and Toon were able to release Stephenson to again show pace and elusiveness on the wing. Recycled ball allowed Marsh to hit Samak on a hard line before the ball was spread wider to Bushall, who found Baker in the wider channel to surge over by the posts. Bushall Converted. 7-19.
Half TimeCainswick 7Stroud Nomads 19
Nomads made changes at Half Time with: Morrice replacing Cox to make his first Senior Rugby appearance, Viggers replaced Samak whilst Munson replaced Alex Nash on the wing.
The second half played out with Nomads having the majority of possession but showing doggedness in defence preventing any Cainswick attacks from making any great gains. There was always positive intent in the Nomads play but handling errors often stifled the flow of the game. Owen soon made his presence felt with a powerful burst and kick ahead that unluckily ran over the dead ball line. Marsh was always looking to break and regularly ran excellent supporting lines one of with enabled Nomads next score. A secure take from Stringer at the line out allowed Marsh to spread play to Bushall, who released Viggers on a powerful burst up the middle. As the scrambling defence closed in a well-timed offload to the supporting Marsh allowed the scrum half to cruise in under the posts. Bushall Converted. 7-26.
Handling errors awarded Cainswick some possession and territory however excellent defence led by Baker, Flanagan and Toon meant Nomads remained in control. Another half break by Leworthy put Nomads back on the attack. Forward carries from Marshall and Baker took play into the 22 before Marsh again broke from the base before releasing Owen for a run in by the posts. Bushall Converted. 7-33.
The forwards played a massive part in the next try with Stringer causing huge disruption to the Cainswick driving lineout and eventually breaking away with the ball. Great support and handling from Marshall and Davies took play towards the 22 before the ball was fed to Marsh to run in and complete his hat-trick. Bushall Converted. 7-40.
Nomads continued to create chances however those handling errors prevented any further scoring.
Full Time Cainswick 7Stroud Nomads 40
Although this was not the finest Nomads performance, a number of positives should be taken. 19 players took the field, intent and attitudes were positive throughout the afternoon and some excellent tries were scored.
Nomads again showed that they have the players to play some exciting open rugby but is crucial that this is not another false dawn and the numbers and commitment are as high when Cheltenham visit in the League next week. (5-October. 1500).
Thanks to the players of Cainswick, who played the game in an excellent spirit and to Cainscross RFC for their hospitality