Derby 21 Bridgnorth 24
Great All Blacks Comback!
Both Bridgnorth 1st and 2nd teams travelled up the A38 to Derby's palatial venue, where the new All-weather pitch, with immaculate surrounding pitch fence and white line marking, provided the perfect conditions for an exciting running, handling and tackling contest.
When Derby visited Bridgnorth last season they came away with a victory by the narrowest of margins 21-22.
Today, both teams had some classy runners, two secure defences and some heavyweight forwards and Jordan Burgess made a energetic surge getting forced into touch on the left flank. A good take and great handling saw Derby cross through some indifferent tackling to open the scoring in the diagonally opposite corner. The good conversion made the sore 7-0.
Jake Goulson climbed highest in a lineout 15m out , but was fouled in the air and Llew Williams hooked the penalty just wide. Good bursts from Boyce and Cave forced a lineout 10m out on the right touch. Once again a clever throw gave Jake Goulson room to stretch over for the touch down.The kick virtually impossible for a right footer, curled across the face of the goal, but Bridgnorth were back in touch7-5. Derby then created a try under the posts with the conversion doubling their score. Bridgnorth's Molitika also got a yellow card bringing the half time score 14-5. Now a man short the Bridgnorth pack got trundled backwards to create another goal and at 21-5 things look black for Bridgnorth.
Afe Lokotui returning from injury, came on for Rich Addison and although Bridgnorth's powerful pack seem to have the upper hand, too often promising attacks were spoilt by wayward kicks out of hand missing touch or giving possession back to Derby. Will Bishop, Charley Wright and Skipper Madden tackling hard in the thick of things, to halt Derby in midfield and a good Bridgnorth scrum gave Luis Evitt the try for Llew Williams to make the score 21-12.
Ed John came on for Charlie Wright and Addison for Bladen and a good run and try by Jordan Burgess with Williams converting brought Bridgnorth within a score. 21-19
Jordan Burgess, constantly dangerous with ball in hand, drove 50 metres up the left touch and Bridgnorth pack camped on the Derby line as the home defence repeatedly went to ground. With a penalty try looking imminent, the referee awarded Bridgnorth a penalty which would have won the game.
Calum Madden however opted for one more scrum and with an almighty shunt Bridgnorth crossed for Calum Madden to score The kick didn't matter but the clever move secured victory and a try bonus point that may prove crucial at the end of the season. The win keeps Bridgnorth in third place in the League just two points behind joint leaders Scunthorpe and Newport.
A late injury for Jake Goulson saw him hobble off and Bridgnorth will hope for a speedy recovery with very hard fixtures to come before Christmas
Next week they travel to Lucton in the N.M.Cup. Lucton in sixth place in the League are always a tough nut to crack, but on a pre season away warm up in August last season Bridgnorth scraped home 5-7
Really gutsy performance here from Bridgnorth with all the forwards performing well but for some great runs that changed the advantage Bridgnorth's way, the choice for Man of the Match was Jordan Burgess.