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1st Team - Match centre

Nuneaton
Derby
J Hughes, R Vowles, H Thomas, T Smitham
Full time
R Vowles (2)
R Vowles (2)
Sat 9 Dec 14:15 - Midlands Division - Midlands Premier

Nuns battle back to snatch deserved win...

Nuns battle back to snatch deserved win...

Nuns were forced into changes for this encounter with 6th placed Derby. Out through injury were Satala and Johnston, Price was ill and Makepeace was unavailable. Into their places came Bullions, Kitto, Garforth and Turner. The Nuns had slipped to 10th in Midland Premier and needed a win to put some life into what so far has been a disappointing season.

The early exchanges were even as Derbys bulky forwards attempted to bludgeon their way through a resolute Nuns defence. A harsh penalty decision for a high tackle gave the initiative to the visitors and when the Nuns were caught offside, fly half George Castledine stepped up and surprisingly missed the easy kick. Poor handling by the Nuns stopped them from making progress and on 19 minutes they fell behind. Derby created an overlap and centre Ben Marlow crossed for an unconverted try. The lead didn’t last long. Just 4 minutes later and after some good forward pressure, winger Jackson Hughes got over in the corner for an unconverted try. The Derby forwards were putting in a lot of effort but the Nuns held firm and when they ran the ball back at the visitors they won a penalty in front of the posts. Rory Vowles duly kicked the goal and the Nuns were ahead 8-5. The Derby backs rarely saw the ball and it was the Nuns backs that looked the more dangerous when they were given the chance.

Derby continued to pressure the Nuns and declined a kick at goal, preferring to kick to the corner. From the lineout they set up a rolling maul which the Nuns couldn’t stop and Tom Taylor- Dawes was credited with the score. Castledine converted and the visitors led by 4 points. The Nuns pack were struggling to hold their own in the set scrum as Derbys forwards continued to bully their way around the field. That forward pressure paid off just before halftime with a second try for Taylor- Dawes and when Castledine added the conversion the visitors had an 11 point interval lead - 8-19.

The Nuns had overcome bigger deficits in the not too distant past and with an air of confidence they set about overcoming Derby’s lead. It didn’t take them long to score. The backs created an opening for Vowles and he carved his way through a ponderous defence to score and with the conversion the Nuns were only 4 points adrift. Nuns wasted further opportunities with poor option choices. With the Derby pack visibly tiring the Nuns drove into the opposition half and won a penalty which Vowles kicked to bring the Nuns to within 1 point.

With the momentum with them, it seemed the Nuns would go on to win, but it was Derby who dug deep and burst through the middle and the ball was fed along the line for winger Grath Van Wyk to score an unconverted try. The Nuns were not put off. Back they came and only a knock on and a forward pass decision denied them 2 good scoring opportunities. With 10 minutes to go a Derby attack broke down on half way and from the kick ahead replacement Huw Thomas was first to react. He kicked ahead and won the sprint to the ball to score Nuns third try. Vowles missed the easiest of conversions and the Nuns trailed by just 1 point. A close entertaining game still had life in it. With 3 minutes to go it was the Nuns who served up some Christmas delight for their supporters. A bout of incessant pressure saw Tom Smitham cut through a weary Derby defence to score and with Vowles’ conversion the win and try scoring bonus point were in the bag. Derby made one last effort to win the game but the Nuns defence kept them out much to their relief as the referee brought the game to an end.

A deserved win for the Nuns in a game in which they showed their best form against one of the better teams in the Midlands Premier.
Team.

Ben Holmes, Callum Grant-Smith, Jon Patemen, Matt Gibbs, Arron Turner, Rudi Reid, Danny Southall, Todd Bullions,
Tom Smitham, Rory Vowles, Ollie Kitto, Tim Douglas, Elliott Brown, Jackson Hughes, Harry Garforth,
Replacements.
Adam Ross, Ryan Leake and Huw Thomas.
Bob Hansford
@nker radio 1386am & Online

Key moments

23:00
Try Jackson Hughes scores for Nuneaton
27:00
Penalty Rory Vowles kicks a penalty for Nuneaton
44:00
Try Rory Vowles scores for Nuneaton
44:00
Conversion Rory Vowles kicks a conversion for Nuneaton
54:00
Penalty Rory Vowles kicks a penalty for Nuneaton
70:00
Try Huw Thomas scores for Nuneaton
76:00
Try Tom Smitham scores for Nuneaton
76:00
Conversion Rory Vowles kicks a conversion for Nuneaton

Highlights

View 0 new events
76:00 Conversion 30 - 0
Rory Vowles kicks a conversion for Nuneaton
76:00 Try 28 - 0
Tom Smitham scores for Nuneaton
70:00 Missed Conversion
Rory Vowles misses a conversion for Nuneaton
70:00 Try 23 - 0
Huw Thomas scores for Nuneaton
54:00 Penalty 18 - 0
Rory Vowles kicks a penalty for Nuneaton
45:00 Sub On
Huw Thomas is substituted on for Nuneaton
45:00 Sub Off
Oliver Kitto is substituted off for Nuneaton
44:00 Try 13 - 0
Rory Vowles scores for Nuneaton
44:00 Conversion 15 - 0
Rory Vowles kicks a conversion for Nuneaton
End of period 1
27:00 Penalty 8 - 0
Rory Vowles kicks a penalty for Nuneaton
23:00 Try 5 - 0
Jackson Hughes scores for Nuneaton
23:00 Missed Conversion
Rory Vowles misses a conversion for Nuneaton
Start of the game
Replay game

As it happened

  • Nuneaton
  • Derby
  • 0
  • Jackson Hughes Try 23:00'
  • Rory Vowles Penalty 27:00'
  • Rory Vowles Try 44:00'
  • Rory Vowles Conversion 44:00'
  • Huw Thomas Sub On 45:00'
  • Oliver Kitto Sub Off 45:00'
  • Rory Vowles Penalty 54:00'
  • Huw Thomas Try 70:00'
  • Tom Smitham Try 76:00'
  • Rory Vowles Conversion 76:00'

Team selection

Garforth, Harry Garforth, Harry
Hughes, Jackson Hughes, Jackson
Brown, Elliott Brown, Elliott
Douglas, Timothy Douglas, Timothy
Kitto, Oliver     Kitto, Oliver
Vowles, Rory Vowles, Rory
Smitham, Tom Smitham, Tom
Bullions, Todd Bullions, Todd
Southall, Danny Southall, Danny
Reid, Rudi Reid, Rudi
Turner, Arron Turner, Arron
Gibbs, Matthew Gibbs, Matthew
Pateman, Jon Pateman, Jon
Grant-Smith, Callum Grant-Smith, Callum
Holmes, Ben Holmes, Ben

League round up

League table

# Team Pl Pts
1. Birmingham & Solihull 14 67
2. Peterborough Lions 16 59
3. Newport (Salop) 14 52
4. Doncaster Phoenix 15 50
5. Scunthorpe 15 48
6. Nuneaton 16 47
7. Sandbach 14 44

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