18 February 1XV Match Report: Derby 28-41 Dudley Kingswinford

Unlike last week, Derby showed great intent and determination from the start.  Young Jim Hather started at wing forward and we were to see eighteen-year-old, Joe Acton, take to the field before the interval.  Both are sons of former Derby players. 

Though it was certainly a complete team performance, special credit must go to the front row trio, Jeri Oldfield, birthday-boy, Jack Bates and Guy Bowley.  Under pressure in the scrums, they dug in and were conspicuous in open play, carrying the ball in to tackles and scoring two tries.

After a Yellow Card for DKW winger, Davies, Derby moved up field and from a line out, Guy Bowley forced his way over for Josh Bingham to convert.  Minutes later, big second row, Marsh scored the first try of his hat trick.  This was followed with a penalty by Vaughan.  Good forward support for Will Town ended with Jeri Oldfield bursting over the line.  Bingham added the conversion but from a lineout collision, Callum Jones was injured and replaced by Josh Ridley.  Marsh scored his second try converted by Vaughan to regain the lead for DKW.  Shortly before the break, Sam Tebbs barged his way through with some considerable force to touch down under the posts making it easy for Bingham to tap the ball over for the extra points.  With the lead, Derby sent on Joe Acton to replace Josh Tizzard.  This was to give him maximum experience before the Stoke game when he is due to start at No.9.

Four minutes after the restart, winger Harrison kicked the ball ahead.  He was fortunate to see it bounce off a defender into his hands.  His opportunist try went unconverted but a good switch move left the Derby defence open for scrum half, Dunn to cut in for another unconverted try.  With the Derby defence holding up, DKW opted for two unsuccessful long range penalty kicks without reward.  Joe Acton was replaced by Josh Tizzard as a tactical substitution and David Cowell came on for Guy Bowley.  However, it was a Yellow Card for Ethan Pearson for a no arms charge on full back Vaughan.  Following sustained pressure by the DKW forwards, No.10, Morgan raced over and Vaughan added the conversion.

It looked all over but good off loading by Derby put Josh Tizzard through for a try, once again converted by Josh Bingham to reduce the DKW lead to six points.  It was game on as the 14-man Derby team pressured the DKW line.  A try looked inevitable, but a Jake Roome lobbed pass was easily intercepted by a defender.  He was supported by Marsh, who completed his hattrick of tries and Vaughan added the two points to break Derby hearts.  This one error does not eclipse the yards gained by his aggressive runs and solid defence.

Yes it was a defeat by the league leaders, slightly flattered by the score line but Derby players are learning valuable lessons in defeat.  Their self-belief is growing and a recognition that they have a very good team in the making.   With a strong Derby Two’s and a supply of young players, the future looks good.

Next week it is away to Stoke with a depleted team.

Report by: Gerry Sherry

Selected photos from: Shaun Hardwick