22 April 1XV PJC Match Report: Derby 22-36 Macclesfield

Derby took on Macclesfield in the Papa John’s Cup with a place in the semi-final at stake. This was the final match in the 4-team pool and previous results meant that this was effectively a quarter-final.

Derby welcomed Jack Dawson and Will Town to the starting XV, while Ryan Milton came off the bench to make his 50th appearance.

Derby kicked off, but it was Macclesfield who had most of the early possession;

that changed when Derby took the lead in the 14th minute. Charlie Barker made a break and Macclesfield were forced to concede a penalty under the posts. Josh Bingham stepped up and scored the 3 points.

2 minutes later Derby extended their lead. They kept possession through a number of phases before Dave Cowell took the ball at pace and brushed aside the defence, to score. Josh Bingham added the conversion

Macclesfield were not downhearted though and continued to probe for openings.

They scored 3 tries before the interval as Derby struggled to keep them at bay. 2 conversions made the half-time score 19 – 10 in Macclesfield’s favour.

The opinion of the Derby faithful was that Derby needed to score first in the 2nd half and they duly did!

47 minutes had elapsed and the Derby pack were driving towards the Macclesfield line. Joe Acton spotted a gap, took the ball and darted over for his 1st try for the side. Josh Bingham converted to take his season’s tally to 183 points and bring Derby within 2 points.

Unfortunately for Derby, Macclesfield responded 5 minutes later. A Derby clearing kick was gathered and Macclesfield ran the ball back and scored. The conversion and a penalty 4 minutes later gave Macclesfield a 12-point lead.

Derby weren’t finished and Will Town used his pace to sprint clear of the defence and touch down in the corner for his 6th try of the season, with 17 minutes left.

This narrowed the gap to 7 points, but again, Macclesfield responded immediately with a converted try.

The game entered the final 10 minutes, with Macclesfield holding a 14-point lead and despite Derby’s best efforts, they were unable to score again.

Congratulations to Macclesfield and good luck in the semi final.

It has been a splendid season for Derby with lots of exciting rugby, tight matches and a tremendous team spirit.

Come on Derby!

Photos were taken by Shaun Hardwick, more here.

Report by: R. Bambra