Stroud Nomads put in a huge performance but ultimately came up short against Ledbury 2nd XV at Fromehall, falling to a narrow 28-26 defeat.

Nomads faced Ledbury for the first time in several years and it was the visitors who dominated possession during the early phases, with the large pack carrying well close to the ruck and off their fly-half.

Stroud defence was solid with Flanagan as ever chopping low and being ably supported by Samak and Hardiman. Toon, Leworthy and Taylor, likewise tackled resolutely in the midfield and stopped any significant gains.

Ledbury’s first real incursion into Stroud territory was courtesy of a misplaced pass in attack, which was pounced upon by their centre, who made 50m before being brought down by Stephenson.

Ledbury were able to recycle and spread the ball wider where Nomads were penalised for a high tackle. A quick tap penalty and a smart interchange of passes allowed their back row forward to crash over out wide and the try was converted.

Nomads hit back and went through the phases, with the ball reaching Leworthy who used the trademark family hand-off to great effect to make ground. Grant Nash and Samak continued the momentum with pick and goes before Gibbs and Toon combined to find Wilkes hitting a great line, before skilfully offloading to Leworthy to surge over. Flanagan kicked the conversion.

Ledbury regained the lead when they were able to capitalise on Nomads indiscipline, kicking into the 22 and then running thorough multiples phases before their centre was able to squeeze over by the post.

Jones replaced Morrice and was soon in the action with a powerful hit that forced a knock on. From the scrum Samak fed Gibbs who kicked ahead and a fortunate ricochet allowed him to regather before a great pass found the supporting Leworthy, who cruised in under the posts.

Shortly afterwards, Toon showed great pace to outrun the covering defence for 50m to crash through to score in the corner, as Stroud went in 19-14 up at the break.

The first 15 minutes of the second half were costly for the Nomads with Wilkes being forced from the field. Some excellent offloading from Ledbury coupled with uncharacteristic weak tackling from Nomads resulted in two quick scores that were both converted and they found themselves 19-28 down.

Despite these setbacks, Nomads lifted their game. Flanagan showed terrific pace in a kick chase to outrun the covering defence, nudge the ball over the line and touchdown.

A superb touchline conversion from Flanagan narrowed the gap to 26-28.

With the Ledbury kick not going 10m, Nomads continued to attack with Grant Nash and Taylor carrying strongly as Nomads looked to push into the Ledbury 22.

Gibbs and Toon freed Leworthy, who took play into the 22 but unfortunately, Nomads were penalised at the breakdown allowing Ledbury to tap and kick to touch to end the game.

Nomads have a chance to get back on track with their next fixture away against Cheltenham North on Saturday. Kick off 3pm.

1 Lee Morrice 2 Grant Nash 3 Damien Cox 4 Nick Stringer 5 Andy Hardiman 6 James Nash 7 Tom Flanagan 8 Mark Samak 9 Callum Gibbs 10 Chris Toon 11 Dom Stephenson 12 Jamie Leworthy 13 Tom Taylor 14 Alex Nash 15 Ben Wilkes 16 Chris Jones 17 Adam Clark