5th March 2022 1XV Report: Derby 30-17 Market Harborough

A strong gusting wind on a training pitch made muddy by the recent floods, rendered the playing surface energy sapping and the playing conditions difficult.  However, seeing the Derby XV stride back to the Club House after their warm-up session, I was struck by the unity of spirit which they exuded.

Playing against the wind, Derby were put under early pressure when a penalty kick rebounded off the upright post after only two minutes.  Following sustained Harborough pressure, full back, Henry Slade, crossed in the corner for the first points of the game.  The Visitors looked set to make full use of the wind advantage, but Derby struck back with a Josh Bingham penalty and from the restart Sam Tebbs caught the ball and made great progress before supporting winger, Rhondell Stabana, took the ball all the way to the try line.  In a lineout close to the Derby line, it was crucial to deny the strong Harborough pack possession, to stop their planned catch-and-drive for the line.  Up soared Sam Pitman to steal his first of three lineouts for Derby to relieve the very real pressure.  In the scrums Derby were more than holding their own, even pushing Harborough back on two occasions.  From one scrum, slick passing stretched the opposition out to the left.  Following play cross field from the scrum, Sam Tebbs collected that ball from a breakdown and his long strides covered the ground quickly to touch down under the posts for Josh Bingham to add the conversion.  This gave Derby a half time lead of 15 points to 5 against the wind.


During the second half Market Harborough improved their ball retention but suffered some injuries, which weakened their attacking moves.  Derby now had the wind behind them, but it was the hard straight running by Jerri Oldfield that created the gap for Ethan Pearson to break through for a try converted by Josh Bingham.  Three minutes later a long kick by Bingham was prevented from going in to touch by a defender but the ball went loose, and Louis Mac Guickian collected it and dived over for a bonus try.  Bingham added the extra points and then kicked a penalty


In the last twelve minutes Market Harborough were rewarded for their efforts when captain Monty Maule and then Alex Adams scored tries, one of which was converted by Harvey Slade.  Throughout the game, Derby’s defensive efforts was a key factor by all fifteen players.


This victory and the manner in which it was won indicates a growing strength and team spirit and consolidates their third place in the league table.
Report by: Gerry Sherry Tel: 07731056927 E-mail: [email protected]