Nottingham Outlaws travelled up the M1 for their final away match of the current Yorkshire League campaign looking to avenge a 32-22 home loss against third placed Sharlston back in June this year. Despite a valiant effort in which they matched the home side for long periods they eventually ran out of steam as the home side inflicted a 40-12 defeat on the Outlaws.
The Outlaws took to the field with a new look side as the coaches looked ahead to next season, fielding three recent student signings in Cal Foster, Josh Webb and Fin Tetlow to create a team that mixed youth with experience.
The match kicked off in sweltering heat and the Outlaws made the worst possible start when they found themselves 6-0 with only five minutes on the clock when they lost the ball in possession and were duly punished by the home team.
Despite the early setback the Outlaws soon settled and on the back of some excellent defensive work by the forwards they stemmed the early Sharlston onslaught and slowly began to ask a few more questions of the home defence.
With fifteen first half minutes left on the clock the Outlaws finally got the score they deserved when a huge up and under from Gaz Whitfield was spilled by the Sharlston winger and the loose ball was swooped on by Captain Coryn Ward who then escaped the clutches of the home defence to break clear and score.
Gaz Whitfield converted to level the scores and when the half time whistle went the two sides were level at 6-6 and the result was very much in the air.
The half time replacement options were starting to look a bit thin to say the least with Webb, Foster and Hemmingway all off the field unable to return and this was soon to have a big impact on the match’s outcome!
The second half started in much the same way as the first with Sharlston scoring early with five minutes played and then they scored again to lead 16-6.
The remaining substitute options then completed evaporated with Tom Evans being forced from the field with a nasty mouth injury leaving the remaining thirteen having to play the last thirty minutes without a break in the sweltering heat.
Despite the reversals the Outlaws stuck to their task and soon reduced the deficit to one score when Alex Whittle scored with a classic show and go fooling the home defence and Whitfield made no mistake to bring the Outlaws back in contention at 16-12 down.
With the temperatures hovering around the thirty degrees mark the lack of interchange options soon began to have an effect and as the Outlaws slowly ran out of steam the home side began to run in a series of unanswered try’s to put them out in the clear at 40-12 as the final whistle went.
After the game the players waited eagerly for the man of the match award. There were several players in contention but the award deservedly went to Captain Coryn Ward for yet another superb display on attack and defence.
Next week the Outlaws entertain Ossett Trinity at Lenton Lane in what will be their final game of the season.