NOTTINGHAM OUTLAWS 16 BRAMLEY BUFFALOES 22 –
Harvey Haddon Stadium, Saturday
Outlaws face a fight to hold on to a play off spot after Bramley inflicted their sixth straight defeat, the Buffaloes making the most of the chances that came their way.
The opening exchanges set the pattern as neither side could settle with the ball in hand as nerves seemed to take the better of them.
After 25 minutes of stalemate the game finally came to life when the Outlaws stuttering attack registered clear cut chances although Shane Wright lost possession as he attempted to ground the ball.
The hosts did open their account on the 30 minute mark as full back Will Reeve picked up in his own 20 metre zone, beat the first line of defence before releasing Wright who scampered 60 metres to plant the ball between the posts, Reeve adding the extras.
Like so often this season, though, they conceded points on the re-start, passing into touch from the kick off and Bramley’s Carl Lindley powering through after the resulting scrum, Steve Suddards goaling.
Outlaws went back on the attack in the lead up to the break, George Strachan had a try disallowed but, following a 40-20 by Alex Whittle, hooker Reece Needham crashed over from close in despite the attentions of four Bramley defenders, Reeve converting.
Somewhat inevitability, Outlaws duly lost possession on the re-start as a poor pass from acting half on the opening play gifted possession to Bramley and Suddards romped over to make it 12-10 at the break.
The Outlaws’ inability to collect the ball from the re-start once again caused them problems as they knocked on straight from the second half kick off and then conceded a penalty in front of the posts that Suddards duly converted to level .
Nottingham held possession and field position for most of the next 20 minutes but they never really looked like scoring as they were predominantly lateral and lacked the craft and cutting edge needed to open up a resolute Bramley defence.
Their inability to turn pressure into points was duly punished on the 65 minute mark as they fell behind for the first time as George Clarke scored from close range, Ben Pitts claiming the extras.
Still the hosts remained in territorial control and finally made their pressure pay when good hands released Jimmy Goodwin in the corner for a try but the conversion attempt drifted wide to leave them two points behind.
Any hopes of a last minute come back soon dissipated as the Outlaws yet again lost the ball in their own half and Bramley had the final word as veteran Graham Nash again exposed the Outlaws defence at the play the ball with a short range effort.
1 Will Reeve,2 Shane Wright,3 Bryn Waldram,4 Coryn Ward,5 James Goodwin,6 Oliver Crick,7 Alex Whittle,8 Will Ephraim, 9 Reece Needham,10 Tukenda Muchemwa,11 Oliver Dale,12 George Strachan,13 Matt Hammond, Subs (all used)14 Joe Frobisher, 15 Paul Calland, 16 Gabe McDonald, 17 Chris Byrne
Tries: Wright, Needham, Goodwin
Goals: Reeve 2
1 Rodney Menon, 2 Andrew Staniland, 3 Aaron Blake, 4 Nick Fontaine, 5 Carl Linley, 6 Steve Suddards, 7 Ben Pitts, 8 Dave Parker, 9 James Woods, 20 Anthony Mills, 11 Tom Langton, 19 Steven Gill, 13 George Clarke, Subs (all used): 14 Graham Nash, 15 Hafeez Yesufu, 12 Sam Clarke,
Tries: Linley, Suddards, Clarke, Nash
Goals: Suddards 2, Pitts
Men of the match:OUTLAWS – Will Reeve BUFFALOES – George Clarke
Half time: 12-10
Referee: Danny McNeice