Nailsea & Backwell finish the season with narrow defeat
PUBLISHED: 09:43 18 April 2018 | UPDATED: 09:43 18 April 2018
A missed conversion late into the game saw Nailsea & Backwell's chance of drawing the match disappear.
Nailsea & Backwell 24 pts
Wiveliscombe 26 pts
Nailsea & Backwell welcomed old friends and adversaries Wiveliscombe to the West End for their final game of the season.
Wivvy, who are currently second in the league and pushing for promotion, needed a bonus point win and brought along 60-plus supporters to witness the deed.
Nailsea, who were secure mid-table in seventh position were meeting Wivvy coming off an excellent 45-point win against Stothert & Pitt in good form.
It was however, Wivvy who played to their strength in their stocky, tight and well-drilled pack who took a 0-14 lead at half-time, Nailsea holding the score at 0-7 for a full 35 minutes of the first-half.
Early in the second half, Wivvy turned to their pack to drive over a scrum five metres out. Nailsea however, were not down and responded when Matt Thomas burst down the wing to score in the corner.
Five minutes later Wivvy found good field position when Nailsea, who had been on the wrong side of the penalty count all game, gave away another penalty.
Turning once again to their one-dimensional, but effective attack, the Wivvy forwards opted for several pick and goes to score their bonus point try.
With some 12 minutes of play left, Nailsea sensed that the big opposition forwards were tiring fast and decided that attack was the best form of defence and moved the ball through the hands for openside Nick Badcock to score, Jamie Elswood adding the extras.
Nailsea secured possession from the kick-off and moved the ball into the visitors’ half for flanker Harvey Flower to make a break and offload to wing Harry Marshall to run in a good try, Elswood tagging on the conversion making the score an interesting 19-26.
The visiting support were growing increasingly jittery especially when Mike Frohlich broke into their 22, only for his scoring pass to the supporting Harvey Pike to go to ground.
With time up on the electronic scoreboard, there was a heart in the mouth moment when Nailsea’s outside-half kicked for Harry Marshall to gather and run in for Nailsea’s bonus point try.
With the conversion now needed for the draw, Elswood’s excellent effort from wide out just slid past the far post to make the final score 24-26.
This was an excellent and absorbing game with Nailsea having their chances to win against league-topping opposition. Performances such as this should send the Nailsea team into next season’s league competition full of confidence and the ability to better this year’s finishing league position.