Regional 1 Midlands Round 1: Derby 1st 23-17 Syston

Derby welcomed Simon Moon back to the starting XV, after a long injury absence. The rest of the side had a familiar look, with the only newcomer, making his debut from the bench, Kristian Powell.

Derby kicked off, as summer finally arrived!

It only took 3 minutes for Derby to take the lead. Josh Bingham kicked through and Lewis Hancock won the race to score the first try of the season. The rest of the half proved to be a tough examination of Derby’s defence.

Syston must be wondering how they failed to score before the break, but superb Derby covering and tackling kept them at bay.

Halftime saw Derby leading by the solitary early try.

Only 2 minutes of the half had elapsed, when Derby extended their lead thanks to a Josh Bingham penalty.

After 50 minutes, McGrath Van Wyk took a high ball and chipped ahead. He kicked again and with the try line in sight, just failed to gather the ball.

In the 52nd minute, Syston lost a player to the sin bin for persistent offences. Could Derby make the extra man count?

It took 3 minutes to answer the question in the affirmative! Josh Bingham tapped a penalty and spread the ball down the line. Lewis Hancock received the pass and scored in the corner. Josh Bingham added a superb conversion and Derby were 15 points ahead.

Syston kicked off, Derby dropped the ball and Syston took full advantage to score a converted try.

16 minutes remained when Syston received their 2nd yellow card of the game, allowing McGrath Van Wyk to kick the penalty.

Derby clinched the game 6 minutes later, with a lovely try. McGrath Van Wyk again claimed the high clearing kick. Will Town burst away with the ball and when it was recycled, a clever touch from Kristian Powell, put Will Town away to score in the corner.

Syston scored a converted try in injury time.

With the game almost over, Derby were penalised and Syston kicked a penalty to secure them a losing bonus point.

A fine win for Derby, built on an excellent defensive performance in the 1st half and some good attacking play in the 2nd.

Derby visit Bromsgrove next week and this will no doubt be a very tough game.

Come on Derby!

Report by: R. Bambra

Photos by Shaun Hardwidge: