15 April 1XV PJC Match Report: Derby 34-33 Sandal

In another high scoring game, it was ended by the golden boot kicker, Josh Bingham, with just minutes left on the clock.  It was not an easy kick but just got the distance before bouncing over the crossbar to secure that vital one point victory.

It was a story of two halves as the much-fancied Sandal moved the ball quickly with confidence early on.  The Visitors tried to exploit some weak tackling, but Derby’s back row duo of Sam Tebbs and Callum Jones crossed the field to close them down.

Sandal’s big second row, Austin Thompson scored from a forward drive and fullback, Jake Adams added the conversion but minutes later Derby responded with their forward pressure which saw Tom Antrobus crash over for a try on his return from injury.  Bingham added the extra points to level the score.  An immediate response came when Sandal’s stand-off, Luke Adams, was sent over in the corner.  Fullback, Jake Adams did well to convert.  After the restart David Cowell was injured and replaced by George Borakis.  Also, Sandal’s centre, Ibrahim Shariyaracu, was given a Yellow Card.  From the following forward drive, Sam Tebbs, forced his way over for a try, again converted by Josh Bingham to level the score and keep Derby in the game.  Sam’s ability to change direction by transferring weight to either foot caused problems for the opposition.  Action then swung down Derby’s end when a lineout ball was tapped down to Austin Thompson on a charge.  His strength took him over for his second try duly converted by Adams.   Just before the interval, Josh Bingham was put under severe pressure and his desperation pass gifted Thompson his third try to give Sandal what looked like a commanding but a little flattering lead of 26 to 12 points.

The first fifteen minutes after the restart was littered with penalties against both sides.  Derby’s forwards were now starting to work hard in a more coordinated way as they put their bodies on the line.  Jack Bates and Jerri Oldfield were very active.  Good passing sent young Cameron Finlay over for his first of three tries in the corner. With a better supply of the ball and Mc Grath Van Wyk’s desire to keep the ball alive, Derby’s backs were testing the Sandal drift defence.  Once again, good interpassing allowed Finlay in for his second try, converted by Bingham to narrow the gap to just two points.  Sandal responded by running a quick penalty and centre, Cameron Bainbridge, was stopped just short of the line and had to be substituted.  Josh Bingham got good quick service from scrum half, Joe Acton, in Derby’s 22-metre area.  Thinking quickly and showing great awareness, he lofted a great cross kick which Cameron Finlay collected.  He ran the length of the pitch to score his third try and Bingham did well to convert from way out on the right.  With the clock ticking down, Derby were trying to protect their slender lead but Sandal forward pressure from a 5-metre lineout created space for a very talented fullback, Jake Adams, to slide in for a try which he also converted to give his side a slender 2-points lead.  With four minutes remaining, “Mr Cool”, Josh Bingham stepped up to take a difficult penalty.  His kick just made it to the cross bar before going over.  Once again Derby had to play the clock down.  In the lineout and scrum, they did just that and a very confident Joe Acton ended the game with a kick to touch.

It is winner take all next week as Derby play host to Macclesfield Kick-Off 3.0 pm.

Report by: Gerry Sherry

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