1st XV Match Report - Ilkeston vs Dronfield
STAGS OUT RUTT (or RUCK) ELKS!
A Derbyshire derby as Dronfield Stags went head to head with Ilkeston Elks in this Midlands 2 East (North) encounter. The fixture at Gosfroth Fields saw Dronfield win by a point after being 14 points and a man down from 20 minutes in.
Dronfield started brightly and were first to score with a try 3 minutes into the game. There was a good break from the back by full back Joe Farrell, taking Dronfield wide and slick passing by Joe Cooke, Luke Cocking, Matt Hale and Alex Arch took Dronfield through the defence with Alex giving scrum half Jake Steade the decisive pass, who ran the ball in. 0-5
Dronfield’s bright start faded though, and Ilkeston pressure led to a series of penalties conceded, two of which were scored on 8 and 20 minutes. 6-5
On 24 minutes good passing by Ilkeston opened up a big overlap and they scored a try to extend their lead. 13-5
Dronfield recovered and pressed hard for the latter part of the first half. A series of solid scrums put Ilkeston under pressure and secure ball from one of these enabled Jon Hunt to find Captain Matt Hale on a great running line to score our second try. 13-12
Just before the break a penalty for offside enabled Ilkeston to extend their lead. 16-12
HALF TIME 16-12
The second half was a real head to head for the packs and Dronfield gained the upper hand. The Stags were dominant in the scrum and the lineout was rock solid with Andy Chambers filling in the Hooker role with a masterclass in throwing, finding Sam Lowery on numerous occasions.
No tries in this half but Dronfield scored three penalties from the pressure they exerted on 45, 70 and 78 minutes which included some great breakdown work from captain Matt Hale. 16-21
FINAL SCORE 16-21
Man of the Match - Matt Hale
Great to see Hugo Ross coming off the bench to return from injury on 55 minutes and showing he is still a thorn in an opponent’s side.
Overall a good team performance and back to winning ways before the big game away at West Bridgford next week.