4 May 2XV NLD Challenge Cup Match Report: Derby 48-12 Castle Donington

Under lights in front of a sizeable crowd of supporters for both sides, a rematch of the round two group game, which Derby lost by 10 to 7 points.  Derby got through by being the best of the losing sides and were determined to make amends. It was a classic clash with the Visitors fielding a bigger and more experienced pack against a much younger mix fielded by Derby.

It was a tense start but when left winger, Jack Hinks, moved into a deep centre slot, he exploited a gap and accelerated through for the first try after only seven minutes.  Adding the conversion, Andrew Charlish, steadied the nerves.  From the restart Cameron Finlay produced another of his unique tries by running 70 yards to score under the posts and with Charlish tapping over, Derby had a comfortable 14 points on the board. 

On the half-hour, Donington won a lineout and drove for the line.  Scrum Half, Sam Taylor scored and converted his own try.  A long clearance kick from their own 22-metres was chased and the receiver was tackled.  A quickly taken penalty was neatly finished off by Archie Partridge, who also scored and converted his own try to extend Derby’s lead.

At the interval, Simon Moon made his first appearance for over a year replacing George Borakis while Archie Partridge and Brian Aine were replaced by Declan McManus and Jack Waggatt.  Surviving early Castle Donington pressure, a 60-metre break by flyhalf Andrew Charlish, which he also converted.  Good support play and a determined burst by Alex Clarke saw him scoring his first senior try with the extra points added by Charlish, who quickly added a penalty to give Derby a commanding lead of 36 points to 7.  Archie Murdoch making his senior debut replaced Andrew Charlish.

The tempo of the game dropped a little, but the visitors never gave up. Their efforts were rewarded when, from a 5-metre scrum, Kallan Keenan, dived over for an unconverted try.  Moving from fullback to flyhalf, Tom Bigland showed good speed in scoring twice in three minutes.  His second was from a heart-breaking interception.  He converted the first one and Derby finished comfortable winners.  They can now look forward to meeting Scunthorpe at Nottingham RFC Ladybay this weekend with a 5 pm KO.