Jersey 12 Nottingham 1031/01/2015
Mark McCrea blasted through for the winning try with six minutes remaining to clinch Jersey's second consecutive win and send the St Peter crowd wild.
Visitors Nottingham had clung to a narrow lead for most of the match, but were unable to respond to McCrea's killer blow, with fly-half Will Maisey missing a last-gasp drop goal attempt.
"It was a great result and the wheel has really turned for us in recent weeks with a great display against Bristol and wins over Doncaster and Nottingham," said Jersey Head Coach Harvey Biljon. "We showed real heart and desire, but also our discipline was superb at the end and helped close out the win.
"Conditions were really tough out there and the boys showed great commitment - they have worked hard in the build-up to this game, when you could have forgiven them for expecting a week off, and they've got their reward for that effort."
Jersey made the perfect start in spite of attacking into a strong wind in the first half. A rolling maul almost resulted in a try, and soon afterwards the ball was worked wide and Mark Foster forced his way over the line from close range.
Going behind when the conditions were in their favour shocked Nottingham into action and within five minutes an attacking maul saw skipper Brent Wilson claim the try. Maisey added a straightforward conversion, and then stretched his side's lead with a penalty.
Pila Longi nearly made a breakthrough for Nottingham, forced into touch by Jersey's Grant Pointer; it was the full-back's final contribution as he sustained a shoulder injury and left the field.
The visitors pressed in the closing stages of the half but couldn't add to their five-point lead, which home fans hoped wouldn't be enough.
Jersey had several chances to score throughout the second period, but were denied by their own errors - in both handling and execution - and Nottingham's tenacity at the breakdown. The visitors were twice down to 14 men when Dan Montagu and Tom Calladine were shown yellow cards for technical offences, and after the second card Jersey pressed forward and eventually McCrea burst through under the posts, giving Jonny Bentley an easy conversion to put his side in front.
Nottingham Head Coach Martin Haag was philosophical in defeat: "It's a tough place to come, a close game, and we got a point, though that wasn't what we came for," he said.
"We didn't get far enough ahead in the first half," he added. "We showed character to hold onto the lead for as long as we did, but then probably lacked a bit of composure at the end when we could have won it."
Words: Tom Innes
Pics: Sue Trower - see the full set HERE
JERSEY: Pointer (Penberthy 17), Foster, Locke,
Robling, McCrea, Bentley, Fisilau; Lockwood, Buckle (Garcia-Veiga
52), Williams, Campbell, Phillips (Kaho 57), Rae (c), Hodson,
Haining (Noone 18). Not used: Lancuba, Selway,
NOTTINGHAM: Robinson, Hough, Styles (Smit 76), Pohe, Iongi, Maisey, Romans; Ma'afu, Malton, Carey (Holford 48), Freeman, Montagu (YC 51) (Price 61), Calladine (YC 72), Wilson (c), Grant. Not used: Vickers, Cooper, Lynn, Carpenter.
Referee: Andrew Small (RFU)
Man-of-the-match as selected by match sponsor Rowney Sharman: Harry Williams (Jersey)
Half Time: 5-10
Tries: Foster 4 McCrea 74
Conversion: Bentley 74
Try: Wilson 9
Conversion: Maisey 9
Penalty: Maisey 22