Saturday saw Meden Vale Travel away to the University of Derby light with a bare fifteen and several key players out, With players playing out of position under a baking hot october sun.
For the first ten minutues of the game it looked like a reincarnation of last weeks match against Ollerton, with Vale for the first ten minutes looking really shakey and out of place. It was Derby who made the first advances over the line with some good back work breaking the Meden line and going over with a converted try making the score 7 - 0.
It wasnt long before Meden had settled down and from some good set piece work they were able to catch set and drive the Derby Pack back over their try line creating the opportunity for top try scorer Jim Smith
to add to his seasons total. Vale didnt stop their and within minutes the pack were on the march winning opposition scrummage and lineout with ease and Jake Mason
finding perfect touch every time. Vale found themselves knocking on the door and a perfect scrummage from the tight five saw the derby pack backed over the dead ball area and yet another try for top scorer Jim Smith
. Vale ended the half 10 - 7 up but looking hot and tired under this october sun.
The second half was much of the same for the forwards and derby were starved of ball by the vale pack who were winning the lineout and scrummage of both sides. But a determined Derby saw opportunity's in the weakened defence of the tired 15 man Vale side and which saw their backs break through the lines on two occasions putting Vale looking out of touch at 19 - 10 down.
The second half was one of much power and determination for both sides but the vale tight five were strong and firing on all cylinders pushing the Derby pack to their limits. The game was looking lost seven minutes out but a long kick to touch saw vale up in the oppositions 22, a well executed line out saw another driving maul from meden only to be stopped yards out. A scrummage followed and the vale tight five once again drove the derby pack back into the deadball area and veteran scrum half David Ellison
pounce for the ball to give vale a fighting chance, converted by Jake Mason
. The score was now 19 - 17 to derby with 3 minutes left on the clock. Vale were right back up their with the tight five picking up and driving closer to the line with every ruck and a snap decision by second row richard hawksley was denied as he was held up. Some more destructive rucking followed with slinn setting free Jake Mason
who was stopped before the line.
One last chance came right at the last minute when a derby ball was disrupted by scrum half Ellison and with a peel from the maul by slinn he was able to set number 8 Jim Smith
free to smash over the line for the winning try and a hat trick on the day.
it was heart and soul that kept Vales pack going for the whole 80mins in the baking sun scrummage after scrummage, and a massive perfomance by all the 15 will see them around the top of the table with maximum points.