11 March 1XV Match Report: Derby 23-27 Litchfield

Derby concluded their league season against a Lichfield team who were desperate for points to avoid relegation.

Derby handed first starts to Joe Acton and Ryan Cockayne and a debut to winger Cam Finlay. Callum Jones and Ryan Milton also returned to the starting XV.

Derby kicked off, on a dry sunny afternoon.

After 5 minutes, Cam Finlay received the ball in his own half. He took off and sprinted clear of the defence to touch down in the corner. He kept up his impressive record of scoring a try on debut for every senior team he has played for !

Lichfield drew level with a try of their own 7 minutes later.

A minute later, Josh Bingham kicked a penalty to put Derby in front again.

16 minutes had elapsed, when Derby scored a lovely try. Lewis Hancock provided the pass to put Callum Jones away. He duly scored his 7th try of the season. Josh Bingham added the conversion to put Derby 15 – 5 ahead and to reach 150 points for the season.

Derby then conceded a number of penalties, before the referee lost patience and showed a yellow card to Ryan Cockayne.

Lichfield made the extra man count, after 23 minutes, when they scored a try off the back of a scrum.

With half an hour gone, Josh Bingham kicked a penalty to extend Derby’s lead.

Just as Ryan Cockayne arrived back from his 10 minute break, Ethan Pearson replaced him in the sin bin for a deliberate knock on.

Derby made light of being a man down this time and scored a try just before the break. Josh Bingham and Patrick Burke created the opportunity for Lewis Hancock to score his 12th try of the season, leaving him as Derby’s leading try scorer in the league

This left Derby 23 – 10 ahead at the break.

The 2nd half started badly for Derby, with 2 Lichfield tries in the first 9 minutes, 1 of which was converted, making the score 23 – 22 to Derby.

Lichfield were having most of the play, but determined Derby defence kept them out.

With 5 minutes left, Lichfield scored the winning try.

The game ended with Derby on the attack but unable to add to their tally.

Other results mean that Derby are currently 7th and can finish no worse than 8th, which represents a tremendous effort in a tough league.

Congratulations to Jack Bates and Lewis Hancock who played in every league game.

Come on Derby !

Report by: R. Bambra

Photos taken by: Shaun Hardwick, more can be found here