This 2pm Kick Off clash was between the 3rd XV University of Birmingham Rugby Team and the 4th XV University of Nottingham Rugby Team at the Metchley Park Sports Pitches, observed by a good smattering of supporters.
Birmingham came from early pressure from Nottingham and as would be for all tries, some slick handling and quick running from their backline, the outside centre dotted down for the first try of the match after 5 minutes with the conversion missed.
Nottingham then struck back 10 minutes into the game, their winger scoring after a lovely offload from his second-row teammate and with the successful conversion, the Green and Whites lead by 7 points to 5.
After the first quarter of the match the Lions had soaked up the pressure coming from Nottingham, gaining a penalty close to their touchline. Moments later after some weak tackling the full back of Birmingham scampered through some weak tackling and offloaded to the 11 winger Tom King to re-take the lead, conversion unsuccessful, the Lions now leading by 10 – 7.
Not moments later King got a brace of tries in as many minutes conversion unsuccessful, before Birmingham gave away a penalty which the full back for the Green and Whites converted, bringing the margin back within a score, the lions now leading 15 – 10.
The n.4 lock for the Lions was very good at the break down and gained a couple of penalties for Birmingham, leading to another opportunity for the backs to run and 14 scored in the corner strongly conversion unsuccessful,.
The lions continued to press right up to the halftime whistle. With most of the possession and the territory and for generally having a better half, Birmingham went into half time with the deserved lead of 20 – 10. The real set back was the not so accurate kicking, something that they’ll have to work on.
The second half started brightly for Nottingham who with consistent pressure from their forward pack, leading to a try being scored from a scrum close to the try line; bringing the margin back to within 3 points.
Just before the hour mark however, a terrible mix up between n.15 and n.14 Bamber lead to a try for Nottingham by their inside centre; there was controversy with the grounding of the ball and the conversion was unsuccessful. Now the Green and Whites lead 22 – 20.
Just after the hour mark the Lions conceded another penalty and Nottingham rewarded from the forwards carrying strongly, increased their lead by 3 points; which now meant Birmingham had to score a try to have a chance of winning.
With 7 minutes to go, the lions gained a penalty, which the fullback drilled to the 5 m line. After a successful line out and quick handling from the backs another try was scored, however the crucial conversion was agonizingly unsuccessful, making the score line locked up at 25 all.
Nottingham then decided to try and throw the kitchen sink at the Lions but with a series of successful scrums and penalties gaining crucial territory; the lions clung on for the draw.
Birmingham will get 3 league points for drawing the match (2 points) and getting a bonus point for scoring 4+ tries. They’ll be disappointed to have conceded 15 un-answered points by the visitors and to have not kicked a single conversion. They will be pleased of the pace of their backs as they got 5 tries on the score board but the Lions will be glad of the draw.