29 October 2022 1XV Report: Derby 31-30 Burton

Jake Roome led the team out on his hundredth appearance for Derby to great applause from many past players who had mixed memories of facing Burton.  Ryan Milton returned from injury to fullback and Patrick Burke started on the wing.  At No. 10, Josh Bingham looked fresh and eager after his 3-game ban.

Burton were favourites having beaten Syston and Bromsgrove but it was Derby who started well passionate self-belief, winning their own scrum and Josh Bingham kicking an early penalty.  This was quickly followed by one of his rare drop goals to give Derby an encouraging 6-points lead.  From a free kick, Jake Barker made an electrifying break before passing to the supporting Josh Tizzard for a touchdown under the posts.  With Bingham adding the conversion, Derby were now an unexpected 13-points ahead.  However, from a scrum, tall centre, Will Simpson, broke down the blind side and good inter-passing saw him score a try, which he also converted.  Derby had to defend against a heavier Burton pack, and they did it well.  Sweeping upfield Josh Bingham kicked a 30-metre penalty to ease the pressure.  Burton then played to their strength by opting for two consecutive 5-metre scums.  Right winger, Henry Knox, quickly touched down in the corner for an unconverted try.  David Cordell then replaced Mick Johns at prop just before halftime with the score Derby 16 Burton 12.

The restart saw the Burton pack trying to exploit their advantage and Derby tackling like demons to stop them.  In particular, Jake Barker, Callum Jones and Jack Bates got through some hard graft.  However, Burton’s No. 10, Jamie Dutton, showed fantastic acceleration to cover about sixty metres.  A penalty was awarded, and Simpson duly kicked it, narrowing the gap to just one point.  This was quickly followed by a forward drive from which hooker, James Davies, scored in the corner. Sam Pitman replaced Jake Barker and duly took the lineout ball on Burton’s 22-metre line.  Amazingly Derby forwards drove Burton back as Jack Dawson joined in at the rear.  With the ball firmly in his grip, he went down over the line for an unconverted try to restore Derby’s narrow lead.  Shortly after that the Derby pack repeated the effort and, even though the drive was pulled down, the ball got to Lewis Hancock who crossed in the corner.  Josh Bingham did well to convert leaving Burton having to score twice.  Just minutes later, substitute Callum Donnelly, scored in the corner and standoff, Dutton did very well to convert.  It was now a nail-biting “Game On” with Derby trying to defend their one-point lead.  With two minutes left on the clock, Josh Tizzard was caught in possession behind his scrum under great Burton pressure.  When Dutton kicked the penalty, it looked all over, or so Burton thought.  With stoic calmness, skipper, Charlie Barker, steadied his players for one last effort.  After a charging run by Sam Tebbs, Dutton had to leave the field with a suspected head injury.  Josh Bingham stepped up to take the 30-metre penalty as a code of silence descended.  He showed no sign of nerves as he kicked the penalty to break Burton hearts.

It’s another tough one next week away to Syston.

Match Report by: Gerry Sherry