6th November 1XV Report: Market Harborough 28-30 Derby

A breath-taking game, with 2 committed sides giving everything, saw the lead change hands 3 times in the final 6 minutes.
Derby kicked off, on a dry, cool day, playing with the wind in the first half.
2 minutes later they were in front. Derby stole a Market Harborough line out and moved the ball quickly to the wing, allowing Tom Bigland to score his first try for the team.
Market Harborough lost a player to the sin bin from the kick off and Derby swept upfield to score again. A forward drive took Derby over the line, with Charlie Barker touching down. Josh Bingham converted.
2 further tries followed for Derby, both scored by Jack Bates, with the help of the pack. Josh Bingham converted the 2nd of these.
This left Derby 24 – 0 up after 13 minutes, with the 4 try bonus point secured and little hint of the drama to follow.
After 18 minutes, Market Harborough opened their account with a try and followed this 7 minutes later with a penalty.
Good Derby defence stopped what looked like a certain Market Harborough try, on the stroke of half time. With the attacking player being tackled into touch, Derby had a line out and the opportunity to clear their lines. Unfortunately, the line out misfired and was claimed by Market Harborough, who scored. The conversion made the half time score 24 – 15 to Derby.
Derby had a tough test ahead of them, as the 2nd half started. Market Harborough were full of confidence and had the wind to help them. Harry Dunning came on at half time, to make his debut at prop.
In fact, it only took 6 minutes for Market Harborough to cut the gap to 2 points with a converted try.
Market Harborough continued to press and took the lead for the 1st time with a penalty.
Derby started to see more possession and began to put pressure on the Market Harborough defence. This led to a penalty, with 2 minutes of the game left. Josh Bingham looked to have secured victory for Derby with a successful kick.
Market Harborough had other ideas however and with the game in injury time, kicked a penalty to retake the lead.
Back came Derby who narrowly missed a penalty of their own.
With the game deep in injury time, Derby had a line out in their own 22, a long way from where they needed to be ! Slowly they worked upfield and arrived in the Market Harborough 22. An attack was halted, but illegally. Penalty. Josh Bingham was off the pitch so up stepped Lewis Hancock for the final act of the game.
The ball sailed between the posts. The whistle blew; game over and a 2 point win for Derby.
Who would have guessed after 13 minutes, that Derby would have needed an injury time penalty to secure the win !

Come on Derby !

Report by: Richard Bambra