Dursley Rugby Football Club
Titanic battle for Bill Adams Trophy leaves Nomads just short.
29th April 2014
A determined Dursley Nomads team faced old rivals Cirencester in the final of the Bill Adams Cup at Stinchcombe on Saturday in what turned out to be a closely fought and evenly matched contest. Dursley fielded a true ‘Nomads’ side with players ranging in age from 17 to 54, the perfect blend of youth and experience.
Cirencester won the toss choosing to play up the hill and against the wind. Ollie Halford kicked off deep into the opposition half and the immediate pressure of back rowers Josh Case and Dougal McDonald forced a fumble and Cirencester were forced over the goal line conceding a five metre scrum. Taking one against the head Ciren were able to clear their line but the Nomads won the lineout and some great work from the forwards drove the opposition into their 22 sucking in defenders as they rumbled forward. Slick handing from Tim Colston at stand-off got the Dursley backs moving and unselfish play from centres Tom Hancock and Jamie Gillespie put ‘Lightning Jack Taylor’ away to score in the corner for his first try in Dursley colours.
Having woken a sleepy Cirencester side the Nomads immediately got a taste of their own medicine. A hugely experienced Ciren pack recycled the ball time after time frustrating the Dursley forwards and the referees clad in fetching light blue costumes and microphones ruthlessly marked the offside line, with helpful input from the large baying crowd. Winning a lineout, resulting from an offside penalty, Cirencester launched their first real attack from just outside the 22. A clever switch to the inside centre wrong footed the Dursley defence who beat several players and scored a great individual try. Try converted the score stood at 7-5.
With both teams now awake and on the score sheet it was clear that it was going to be a very tight game. Cirencester had most of the possession, whilst Dursley insisted on giving away soft penalties allowing the opposition to clear their line. The Dursley front five made up of Phil Bennett, Josh Case, Geoff Stevens, Ian Williams and Matt Rose dominated the early scrummaging and won the Nomads a penalty 30 yards out. Ollie Halford stepped up and took a tremendous strike that the home crowd insisted went through but the boys in blue were not to be swayed.
With neither side giving an inch the breakdown was fiercely contested. When the referee did manage to finally reach the breakdowns rules and laws had been broken many times over. Inevitably frustration got the better of Captain Moorsom. The referee deemed his efforts to remind the Cirencester skipper that he was on the wrong side of the ball too enthusiastic and he was sent to the sidelines for 10 minutes rest.
True to form the Nomads played much better without their Captain and kept the hungry Cirencester mob at bay. Both teams made a lot of mistakes in difficult conditions and for the next 10 minutes it was deadlock in the centre of the field with Lee Barton adding his experience to the front row. Back up to 15 and with seven minutes to go in the first half the Nomads ramped up the pressure again and Cirencester conceded a penalty 40 metres from their line. Halford stepped up confidently and judging the crosswind perfectly added another three points to the Dursley total.
Within moments of the restart The Nomads were back in the Cirencester 22 and it was Halford again who crossed line due to some swift handling from the backs and hard work from the forwards. Half time score 13-7 to Dursley.
Using the wind to their advantage in the second half Ciren wisely kicked deep and kept Dursley in their own half. Tim Harding and Pete ‘The Boulder’ Scott came into the second row with Gareth Bradbury taking over from Taylor on the wing. Dursley showed great determination, Stuart Newman marshalling his forwards and feeding his backs with his customary calm and purpose. The backs continued to run wide with Hamish Watson making some elusive breaks down the left wing. The Cirencester defence and their speed to the breakdown (unlike the referee) consistently turned the ball over and accurate kicking pinned the Nomads in their own half. Some back luck and strong wind saw a Dursley clearance kick banana into midfield where it was gladly gatherer up by a hungry Ciren attack. With the Nomads at sixes and sevens the Ciren forwards sucked in the Dursley defence and created a huge overlap. Some swift handling and some lateral (not forward) passing saw the visitors score a well worked try close to the posts. Conversion slotted 14-13 to Ciren.
Players tiring Ty Chappell, Keith Rose and Adam D’Arcy Wass bolstered the forwards and Dursley regained control of the scrum and the battle continued to maintain possession of the ball. Sadly it was Cirencester who got the break through with a couple of missed tackles they were in at the corner again to add another five points to their total.
The Nomads rallied realising that the Bill Adams silverware was drifting out of their grasp. An absolutely humungous hit in mid field from a tiring ‘ Jamie Black Velvet Gillespie’ gave the whole Nomads side a much needed jolt and they immediately won a penalty 20 metres out. Captain Moorsom elected to run it through ‘The Boulder’ and D’Arcy and once recycled a beautiful long pass to Gillespie saw him power over the line. Halford’s successful conversion put the Nomads back in the lead 20-19.
Defending such a tight lead the Nomads managed to keep the red and blacks at bay and in the 75 minute the referee’s interpretation of both front row’s scrummaging techniques resulted in a difference of opinion which cost the Nomads a penalty in front of the posts and 20 meteres.
Rising above the pressure the Cirencester scrum half stepped up and slotted the penalty taking his team in front 22-20 which is how the score remained until the final whistle.
It has been another fantastic season for the Nomads and it is a privilege to have been elected Captain. Saturday’s game was a fantastic performance up there with the victories over Stow and Westbury. Every single player did their job and gave their all on the day and that is all that is asked of you as Nomads.
(Do as I say, not as I do)