REGIONAL 1 MIDLANDS ROUND 20: Kenilworth 37-31 Derby

Derby travelled to Kenilworth, looking for the point they needed to exceed last season’s tally.

Derby kicked off, on a dry day, with the pitch in good condition despite all the recent rain.

It only took Derby 4 minutes to take the lead. McGrath Van Wyk kicked ahead and regathered the ball. His inside pass found Josh Bingham who touched down. Ben Wilcox added a fine conversion.

4 minutes later, Kenilworth kicked a penalty, but Derby then struck again. An attacking line-out was won and Sam Tebbs carried the ball on, His off-load found Simon Moon, who in turn found Joe Acton, who sprinted clear to score.

Derby scored again, 2 minutes later. Ben Wilcox kicked through and won the chase to touch the ball down. He converted his own try, to put Derby 19 – 3 ahead.

Derby lost Jake Barker to injury at this point, in his first game for the side after injury!

Kenilworth hit back when they drove over the Derby line and converted.

Derby scored their 4th try, after just 24 minutes. Lewis Hancock provided the pass, for Jack Bates to score. Ben Wilcox converted.

Unfortunately for Derby, Kenilworth started to use their heavier pack and scored 2 tries before halftime. 1 conversion made the halftime score 26 – 22 to Derby.

An exhilarating half with Kenilworth having the edge up front, while Derby showed what they can do with the ball in hand.

Kenilwoth narrowed the gap to 1 point, with a penalty 4 minutes into the second half.

2 Kenilworth tries in the next 15 minutes, 1 of which was converted, put them firmly in charge, leading by 11 points.

Derby started to play again and with 15 minutes remaining scored a good try. Lewis Hancock came off his wing to carry the ball. He found McGrath Van Wyk who moved the ball onto Cam Finlay. He had 2 defenders to beat but did it easily to score his 8th try in his 9th appearance for the side.

Derby were getting on top up front and spent the remaining time looking for the winning score. 

The closest they came was a kick-through from Josh Bingham which bounced away from Cam Finlay, when he had a clear run to the line.

The final whistle blew on an exciting game of rugby. Derby will feel it was one that got away, particullarly the 10 minutes or so either side of half time. Credit must go to Kenilworth though for finding a way to win!

Derby did come away with 2 points, so have improved on last season!

Banbury visit Haslams next week for the final home league game of the season.

Come on Derby!

Report by: R. Bambra