The men’s 1st XV couldn’t quite get over the line against a well-drilled Nottingham side who scored late to even the game up at 10-10 under the lights at the Bournbrook.
After an hour delay as the men’s 2nd XI football game went into extra time and penalties, we were finally ready to get the game going. From the get go both sides looked to play expansive, free-flowing rugby, and Birmingham were immediately rewarded with a well-worked try in the corner, taken well by full-back Richard Galloway. However, from then on, the well-attended Bournbrook pitches was made to wait for the next try deep into the second half.
The first half wasn’t the most entertaining of halves. Both sides were conceding needless penalties combined with a few handling errors, not allowing the game to flow in what were ideal rugby playing conditions. Instead, the referee’s whistle was called upon too much in the first half. One could sense the frustration around the ground as the first half whistle was blown at five points to three in favour of the Lions.
After the break, the game was crying out for someone to grab the game by the scruff of the neck with a moment of magic. However, the jubilant home crowd were made to wait as the scrappy affair continued. However, fresh legs began to open the game as the tiring defenses were starting to drop off tackles.
At last the men in red found a hole in the firm Nottingham defence: number 10 Maxwell-Whitely went blind feeding second row Ed Adamson in the corner. At the this stage Birmingham must’ve thought they had the game won, but give Notts their due they upped the anti, piling pressure on the home defence as UoB held strong in the dying minutes
Nottingham needed a stroke of luck, and they were duly rewarded when a fortunate bounce enabled their fly half to feed his team mate under the posts, leaving the home side with their heads in their hand’s- it was ten all. Now with two minutes on the clock, the home crowd roared the Lions into action, responding suitably when awarded a penalty 45 minutes from the posts. Fly-half Tighe Maxwell-Whitely looked to be the hero, stepping up to kick his side victory. Unfortunately, his kick didn’t have the legs, and referee’s closing whistle followed.
Birmingham will be scratching their head’s as to how they didn’t get their first win of the season. However they don’t have long to ponder on what could’ve been, and will need to pick themselves up next week as they host Loughborough 2s, and will look to climb the BUCS North A table.