Regional 1 Midlands Round 17: Old Halesonians 22 -45 Derby

1xv match report

It was not the easy game, that some might have expected.  From the start, the home side took the game to Derby.  Their strong pack kept probing and quick ball from the breakdowns allowed their half backs to move the ball quickly, creating attacking moves.  After ten minutes, this play was rewarded when winger, Keenan, touched down in the corner for an unconverted try.  From the restart, Bingham’s wind assisted kick, sailed straight into touch.  Derby were penalised in the ensuing scrum and a try by scrum half, Keen, under the posts quickly followed.  Ben King added the extra points to give his side a deserved twelve points lead.  Following a spell of pressure, Lewis Hancock crossed in the corner to keep Derby in touch.  Rhondell Stabana’s catch from the restart opened a gap and he sprinted fifty metres without close support.  This brave run was followed by a period of Derby forward pressure.  A driving maul saw Simon Noon swivel free and touch down for a timely try.  The conversion kick by Ben Wilcock bounced off the upright.  He also missed a long-range penalty just before centre, Ben King, kicked a short penalty to give the home side the lead by fifteen points to ten at the break.

With no changes at the interval, Derby looked more determined, and seven minutes gone, a very alert Joe Acton took a quick penalty and cut through a flat-footed defence for a try converted by Ben Wilcock giving Derby a narrow lead for the first time in the game.  The Derby front row of Jerri Oldfield, Jack Bates and Simon Noon frequently carried the ball forward over the gain line.  From one such break by Bates, Josh Bingham sold a dummy and touched down in the corner.  A Sam Tebbs break set up a ruck.  The quick ball from the ruck was used effectively by Joe Acton, who got his second try, duly converted by Wilcock.  This gave Derby a lead they did not surrender.  Subs, Fred Chell and Nathan Bevan-Brown, replaced Mc Grath Van Wyk and James Foster, respectively.  The fight was still on and from their own quick penalty, the ball was spun out to Keenan for his second try, which King did well to convert.  The response was quick.  A successful penalty kick by Josh Bingham was followed by his heart breaking launching of a dramatic drop goal from 40-metres out.  The applause said it all – truly tremendous.  Bingham had got his” mojo” back.  Mick Johns replaced Simon Noon and normal service resumed.  Derby were now in the driving seat marked by a new and daring move in the backs, which certainly confused the defence.  The superior fitness was now evident and another long break by Tebbs was followed by a penalty converted by a now confident Josh Bingham.  Derby wanted more and a long run by Fred Chell saw a last ditched pass to Lewis Hancock.  He raced through for his second try converted by Bingham.

This win lifts Derby in the League table overtaking Kenilworth, whose game at Burton was abandoned by the referee following a severe injury to a Kenilworth player needing emergency medical attention.  

Derby host Burton next week when a large number of travelling supporters are expected.  The Derby players will appreciate your support.  
Come On Derby!   

Match Report by: Gerry Sherry