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Was I Mad?

By Finno
January 25 2019

I hadn’t been to an away Friday night match for a while, in fact the last one was the Worcester Disaster last season. ‘Please let there not be a repeat performance this time’!

I headed off from Sussex at 14:30, just in case the M1 was bad. The weather forecast wasn’t that good either, very cold with sleet predicted for the match. The rest of my family thought I was mad, and to be honest, that thought crossed my mind also. I arrived in good time, parked in Forest’s ground across the road for £3(bargain), got layered up like Michelin Man and was ready for the action.

Lady Bay Sportsground is a typical Championship ground with one stand and various bits of terracing and tents. I had a standing ticket and decided on the raised terracing across from the main stand. The atmosphere was friendly and there were a lot of teenagers, who seemed to have finished rugby training elsewhere on the sportsground, and who (with their girlfriends) were staying for the match. You can see some of them in the foreground of the attached photo.  It made for a nice friendly mix of spectators.

We’d put out a strong side and I was particularly interested to see how the new guys would get on. We started brightly with lots of possession and were looking dangerous. Hepetema scored after 8 mins, and I thought…’here we go’. But within minutes we were pegged back to 7-7 when one of their props broke the line and sprinted in from about 30 yards! Incredible, it will be one of those tries that will become a longer and longer run in, as time passes. We then basically traded converted tries until half time with us leading 21-14. We seemed to switch off each time we scored.

The second half started in the same fashion as the first, with Myler scoring and converting, now we had  some daylight and I expected us to put the game to bed. No chance, within 5 mins Nottingham scored a converted try again. 28-21 to us. With 10 mins to go, Hoskins touched down and Myler converted 35-21, surely that would be it! But within 2 mins we had conceded again, and luckily the conversion was missed, a 9 point difference with 8 mins to play. The home crowd really got behind their team as they sensed that they could catch us. A 79th min penalty, assured Nottingham a second bonus point and a last crack at us, to snatch a win. They had a bloody good go, before time ran out. We secured a 35-29 win, phew!

It was a strange game where we played well and always looked really dangerous, but we just weren’t able to put them away. I never felt that we were going to lose the game until we were only 6 points ahead and they were attacking us at the end of the game. It would have been a travesty if we’d lost. The standout performers for me were Hepetema and Hoskins, with Terrence shading it.

Now I just had a 3.5 hr trip back to Sussex, there’d be nobody on the roads, so I should fly back. As we were leaving the ground, the promised sleet started. Great I thought, motorway driving at night in the sleet! Luckily it didn’t last that long, but that wasn’t the end of eventful day. I was clipped by a juggernaut on a section of the M1 that is being ‘smartened’ and has a50 MPH limit and narrow lanes. Luckily he didn’t spin me, and I pulled over for us to swap details. He just kept going and I lost him among all the other juggernauts . I stopped at the next service area up the road to see what damage had been done. Hundreds of pounds of damage rather than a grand plus, relief replaced the rage I had been in!

I got home by 01:00, tired, relieved I was in one piece, and still trying to make sense of the match I’d witnessed earlier. 

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Was I Mad?
Discussion started by The Craic , 25/01/2019 17:04
The Craic
25/01/2019 17:04
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25/01/2019 17:56
Cheers Finno, great report and so glad that you finally saw a win on report duty (Sm160)

You were deffo MOTM for putting in the hard yards to get up there with the lads.

But were you a F1 driver in your younger days - Nottingham to deepest Sussex in 3.5 hours is some going...?!

25/01/2019 21:19
Thanks Finno,that's devotion I couldn't match.The promise of sleet did for me. Thanks for your view of the game.

26/01/2019 00:07
Cheers Finno, great report and so glad that you finally saw a win on report duty (Sm160)
You were deffo MOTM for putting in the hard yards to get up there with the lads.

But were you a F1 driver in your younger days - Nottingham to deepest Sussex in 3.5 hours is some going...?!

Thanks Shawshank! I think you're right that I've never reported on an away win, I can certainly remember reporting on some thrashings!

168 miles divided by 3.5 = 48, and that's my story and I'm sticking to it !!!!

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