8th January 1XV Report: Derby 22-42 Bedford Athletic

Derby travelled to play league leaders Bedford Athletic at Putnoe Woods, having not played for 3 weeks and with a number of players missing, due to a variety of reasons!

The rain cleared just before kick off and with Bedford having the same pitch as Derby, conditions were not an issue.

Bedford kicked off and took the lead after just 2 minutes. Prop Ryan Taylor crossed and Leo Mortimer converted. Mortimer’s kicking was superb all day!

Derby hit back 6 minutes later when Josh Tizard and Jack Bates combined well to send Harry Bigland away to score.

Unfortunately, Harry Bigland did not last much longer; a dislocated shoulder necessitating a hospital visit. He was replaced by Patrick Burke.

Leo Mortimer kicked 2 penalties for Bedford, before Derby scored again, in the 16th minute. Josh Bingham chipped the ball through the advancing Bedford defence and Patrick Burke touched down.

The remainder of the half was dominated by Bedford. Ben Thompson, Harry Sawford-Smith and Stephen Woodhead all scored tries and Leo Mortimer converted twice.

The final score of the half saw Mortimer kick another penalty, to leave the score at 35 – 10 to Bedford.

Derby were looking at a big defeat at this stage, but to their credit they started the 2nd half full of energy and on the front foot. They were twice held up over the Bedford try line, before the pressure finally told after 55 minutes. After all the good play, the try was a bit fortunate, but credit to Jack Bates for following up and touching down a loose ball over the Bedford try line.

Bedford hit back, with a spell of pressure, which Derby did well to keep out, despite being under enormous pressure.

Derby finally moved away from their own half and pressured Bedford again. They got their reward after 70 minutes. The line out functioned perfectly and the Derby pack were driving towards the Bedford try line. Bedford pulled the maul down illegally and the referee ran under the posts to award a penalty try. This gave Derby a league point for scoring 4 tries.

Derby harboured hopes of scoring again and gaining a losing bonus point, but it was Bedford who finished the scoring for the day, with a try from Ben Thompson, converted by Leo Mortimer.

Bedford deserved their victory, but Derby winning the second half was a tremendous  effort and gives Derby great heart for the remainder of the season!

Come on Derby !

Report by R. Bambra