28 January 2023 1XV Match Report: Burton 31-33 Derby

Derby did the “double” on neighbours, Burton, in another closely contested game, ending with Josh Bingham kicking a conversion from the side line to break the hearts of local supporters.

Will Town made his first appearance on the wing, after a long absence due to injury, and Patrick Burke switched to centre.  In front of a big crowd which contributed to a degree of nervous tension on the field of play, both sides were guilty of handling errors.

From a break by Town, it was Patrick Burke who scored in the corner.  Minutes later Jeri Oldfield was shown a Yellow Card.  Mick Johns replaced him, but Rhondel Stabana had to go off.  From a 5-metre lineout the Burton pack drove over the line for John Kirwin to score and Will Simpson added the conversion to give Burton the lead.  Six minutes later Derby responded from a steady scrum as Sam Tebbs charged and fought his way through a shocked defence for his sixth try of the season.  Bingham converted restoring Derby’s 5-points lead before he also received a Yellow Card.  With the interval fast approaching, stand-off, Jamie Dutton, sped through a gap for a try easily converted by Simpson to give Burton the lead by 14 points to 12.

During the interval Jeri Oldfield returned and, to much applause, super sub, Callum Jones, joined the team.  From the restart Derby made light of being a man short.  Bingham returned from the Bin, missed a penalty kick but quickly secured a lineout about 15- metres from the Burton line.  Possession was won and Callum Jones sprinted through a wrong-footed defence for a try converted by Bingham.  Burton forwards then pressed hard and James Davies touched down.  Simpson converted to regain the narrow lead.  Derby launched a sustained attack on the Burton line but an interception by Jamie Dutton saw him run the length of the pitch to score under the posts.  Simpson converted and the home crowd expected a comfortable win with a lead of 28 points to 19.

Derby were gifted a boost from the restart when Burton failed to catch the ball and saw their No.7 given a Yellow Card.  From the tap-and-go penalty, Callum Jones sprinted through for his second try, converted by Bingham.  Burton replied with a Simpson penalty to lead by 31 points to 26.  However, Derby still looked like scoring and just as the clock was running down, Will Town collected an ankle level ball.  His off load to the supporting Jeri Oldfield, saw him score in the corner against his former club.  Up stepped Josh Bingham with nerves of steel.  He, of “Golden Boot” fame sent the ball towards the posts and we watched as it slowly dropped over the bar to record Derby’s first double over Burton..

I know that Derby supporters are not boastful but if they do want to boast, make it about the unbreakable fighting spirit of these young Derby players.

Report by: Gerry Sherry