8th October 1XV Report: Derby 20 -21 Dronfield

The performance of a much improved and streetwise Dronfield somewhat dimmed the “Friday Night Lights” at Haslams Lane. It was obvious from the start that this was going to be a very competitive game by two evenly matched sides. Derby welcomed back Jack Waggott and Josh Tizzard with Peter Wilcox on the bench.

However, from an early lineout, Dronfield flyhalf produced an inch perfect cross kick collected by tall right winger, James Marshall, who raced through for the opening try in the corner. Minutes later a quick tap and go penalty ended with Jack Waggott scoring a try converted by Josh Bingham. Some slick passing moves took Derby up field to a 5-metre lineout. A driving maul was well executed and Sam Tebbs got the touch down to give Derby a seven points lead. Then Dronfield survived a period of pressure with dogged determination and strength repelling an avalanche of attacks on their line.

After the interval, a poor restart kick gifted Dronfield a scrum and territory. Derby were penalised a second time for pulling down in the scrum moving forward, allowing the super confident fullback, Joe Farrell, to narrow the gap to four points. Josh Bingham restored Derby’s lead with his penalty kick before Josh Mc Callion replaced the rested Josh Tizzard. Some excellent inter passing by Derby’s backs was rewarded when Lewis Hancock crossed for a try but the conversion was missed.
Derby’s expectations were then shattered when, following a driving maul, centre, Mat Hale, took a quick penalty and made it to the line. Farrell converted to put Dronfield back in the game and narrowed the gap to two points when kicking another penalty. He added three more points by kicking his third penalty following a tackle, to give his side a narrow lead by one point. With just a few minutes left, Derby mounted an all out attack ending with a driving maul close to the Dronfield line. The referee seemed to indicate a penalty to Dronfield but changed to an incomplete driving maul before blowing the final whistle. Players were bemused as to why it was incomplete.

There is no doubt that Derby tried hard but in a game punctuated by penalties, 8 for Derby and 14 for Dronfield and the number of times a ball carrier taking the ball into contact was penalised for not releasing has got to be addressed.
As head coach, Mark Bradley said, “We have got to reduce our penalty count and turn pressure moments into points for us.” Amen!

Josh Mc Callion for Josh Tizzard
Josh Ridley for Sam Pitman
Peter for Jack Bates (Peter only lasted 2 minutes before damaging a ham string)

Report by Gerry Sherry

Latest League Table

Photos courtesy of @richard_harper_photography

[fancygallery id=”10″ album=”38″]