Regional 1 Midlands Round 18: Bridgnorth 50 -33 Derby

Derby travelled to Bridgnorth without Josh Bingham, Jerri Oldfield and Rhondell Stabana.  Enforced changes brought Ben Wilcox to Stand-off, Goerge Pollock to prop for his first outing, Ryan Cokayne to wing forward and Cameron Finlay on the bench.  

In front of a very large crowd and only two minutes gone, Bridgnorth swept forward and  No. 10, Murphy, hoisted a well-judged cross kick.  The usually unpredictable rugby ball bounced into the hands of winger, Biddel, who sprinted over for the opening try.  A stunned Derby conceded two more tries in ten minutes, one from Biddel and the other from left winger, Brough.  Derby were now somewhat shell shocked and Bridgnorth stole two of Derby’s line outs before Brough scored his second try. This time Murphy added the extra points.  Before the interval Brough got his third, also converted by Murphy.  A glimmer of hope was given to Derby when, following a driving maul, Mc Grath Van Wyk dived over for an unconverted try.  Ben Wilcox came close with his chip-and-chase but Bridgnorth’s half time lead of twenty-four points was ominous.  

James Godfrey and David Cowell replaced Nathan Bevan-Brown and George Pollock.  Van Wyk was given a Yellow Card and tries by Bridgnorth’s Brough, Bidell, and Bladen, all of which Murphy converted to bring the score to 50 points to five.  Suddenly Derby found their fighting spirit inspired by the attitude of sub, David Cowell.  His determination brought him a try converted by Ben Wilcox.  Four minutes later Joe Acton broke on the blind side and Sam Tebbs finished the move for another converted try.  Sam then showed he has still retained his speed from his early days as a winger.  He sprinted through a shocked defence to score his second try.   Wilcox converted both of them.  Cameron Finlay replaced Ethan Pearson and immediately made a break at speed only to slip just short of the line.  Two minutes later Mc Grath Van Wyk dived over in the corner for another try converted by Ben Wilcox.  The fight for a losing bonus point was now on.  During this period Derby made every effort to keep the ball in hand.  It proved beneficial.

Sadly, the clock ran down to close the curtain on a record score for Bridgnorth, but Derby can take some encouragement in the way they fought back against the odds to salvage some pride.  Overall, Derby struggled to cope with the hard running and passing at speed of the opposition.

Next week it is away to Banbury for another tough test.

Report by: Gerry Sherry