Nottingham Outlaws deservedly earned a point against league high flyers Fryston Warriors at Lenton Lane on Saturday when they battled back from 14-4 down to earn an equaliser in the closing minutes of the game to register a 14-14 draw.
Indeed they did it the hard way, playing for most of the game with 12 men but they showed plenty of never-say-die spirit and fully deserved a share of the spoils at the end of the game
The Outlaws went into the match with yet another much changed team but they started well, peppering the visitors line in the opening stages. However with only ten minutes on the clock it looked like the match was about to tilt decidedly against the Outlaws when prop Mike Bennett was sent from the field for an innocuous looking incident to leave the Outlaws a man short with seventy minutes to play.
Despite being a man short the Outlaws were still holding the upper hand in the opening quarter and they fully deserved their lead when Adam Cunliffe opened up the Outlaws account with a show and go from ten meters out as the Outlaws opened up a 4-0 lead.
The lead only lasted two minutes as the Outlaws lost the ball early in the count from the restart and Fryston drew level on the back of this gift just in time for the half time whistle to blow with the scores locked at 4-4
The first ten minutes of the second stanza proved to be something of a nightmare as the Outlaws started the second period slowly, leaking two rather soft trys to find themselves staring down the barrel of a gun at 4-14 in arrears and a man short with 30 minutes to play.
Despite the reversal and numerical advantage against them the Outlaws refused to throw in the towel and they fought back strongly with Haz Ashby, making a welcome return to the team, powering over from short range to cut the deficit to 8-14 with a well taken try and now it was very much game on!
As the clock ticked down the Outlaws found themselves deep in their own half with a couple of minutes to play as Fryston went on the attack looking to close out the game.
The ball went wide and it looked like Fryston might score but In an act of desperation winger Luke Wadding shot out of defence and managed to intercept the ball deep inside the Outlaws red zone. There was still plenty to do for the Outlaws as the Outlaws winger set off but he powered down the field, winning the foot race to the line before planting the ball down under the sticks. Harry Walton added the extras from bang in front as the referee brought proceedings to a close with the Outlaws registering a well-deserved draw in the last moments of the game.
After the match there were a number of players in the mix for the man of the match award. However it cam as no surprise when captain Coryn Ward took home the bubbly with a superb Captains knock, leading his team from the front despite the numerical odds being against them.
Next week the Outlaws face another stiff challenge when they travel up to Halifax to play last year’s champions Siddal.