12 November 2022 1XV Report: Dudley Kingswinford 46 – 14 Derby

In dry sunny conditions DKW were able to field a side strengthened by new recruits from Stourbridge, while Deby saw the return of Jeri Oldfield and Mc Grath Wyk.  Young scrum half, Dan Harris, was promoted from the Second XV.  It was to be a baptism by fire, because, behind a retreating scrum, life would have been hard for anybody.  He is one for the future.

Using the slight wind and slope advantage, DKW were in front from a penalty by full back, Sam Vaughan.  With a good supply of ball their backs mounted a continuous wave of attacks.  The quick passing and support play opened gaps and it was inevitable when centre, Stefan Shillingford, and right wing, Mark Harrison, scored tries converted by Vaughan.  Derby showed resilience with a well-executed pushover try by Jeri Oldfield, which Josh Bingham did well to convert.  However, DKW were back in their stride with tries from Joe Heatly and Matt Dunn, one of which Vaughan converted.  These followed two Derby scrums under terrific pressure from the DKW scrum, which twice saw the ball shoot out clear of the back row.  The cruellest moment came when Derby were pressing 2-metres from the DKW line.  A pass was intercepted by Harrison, who then ran the length of the pitch to score a try converted by Vaughan to make the score 36 points to 7 at the interval.

During the break Jake Roome moved to scrum half and Ethan Pearson came on in the centre.  The latter brought aggressive running and caused problems for the DKW centres.  From the restart Derby looked invigorated, winning a scrum and Patrick Burke scoring a try in the corner.  Once again, Bingham did well to convert.  A great run from defence by Mc Grath Van Wyk ran out of steam as three defenders gradually closed in on him.  Sam Tebbs produced aggressive runs as Derby continued to look for a score.  Against another side Derby would have had a try but DKW defended heroically.  However, a penalty by Vaughan steadied any DKW nerves.  Though Derby pressed and nearly forced a try, it was not to happen.  Tom Antrobus and Mick Johns replaced Sam Pitman and Guy Bowley but in extra time a battle-weary Derby gifted a try to flanker, Will Hancox, converted by Vaughan.

Yes, it was a heavy defeat from a side that would grace the next level of rugby but even in defeat, Derby did show their fighting spirit.

It is a rest next Saturday before facing Kennilworth at home the following Saturday.

Report by: Gerry Sherry