Finally after almost two seasons of trying Derby City and Leamington Royals played their first league match. Last season had seen them amazingly avoid each other until the Merit League Final held in Coventry where the Royals took the trophy in a fiery game. Both teams made the advancement into this season’s Premier league and at present were holding fourth and fifth position respectively.
The dampness of the last 24 hours soon abated and saw the sun and humidity rise. As much as the scoring of tries keeping hydration and concentration levels would be extremely important on a match day like today. Derby won the toss and opted to receive and immediately stepped up the pitch however the Leamington players worked well in two’s and three’s and pushed the City players back at every opportunity. It wasn’t long before the Royals started taking control of this game. Using a couple of the strong forwards to suck in the defence allowing the quick backs through pivots Adam Clifford and Andy Morrison to spread the ball wide to score.
Derby had only a couple of chances in the first half to cross the line with the best one being through Winger Arron Robinson stopped inches from the line after an excellent break down the left side. Further tries followed as the Derby defence continued to be slow in advancement. Through all the possession that Leamington had Derby felt slightly relieved to be only twenty points down at half time. Half Time Leamington Royals 20 Derby City 0.
Couple of changes for both sides through a combination of both injuries and fatigue which was always inevitable in such a hard impact match.
Derby found themselves further behind when a pushed pass was plucked out of the air by the Royals Centre who ran three quarters of the pitch to score. This was almost replicated moments later by one of the largest players on the Royals side who found himself in the unusual position of ball in hand clear pitch ahead defence chasing him but unfortunately forty yards out, Derby caught him!
A bit of self-belief and desire to not end the game with no score saw firstly Tim Doyle take the ball forward followed by Second Row Toby Williams. A simple pass to Half Back Joe Frobisher saw him drift over from a short distance to score his first try for the club since his move from the Outlaws. Converted by Rob Brown.
Derby were the next to score again and were starting to make inroads in the home sides half. Again Williams stopped near the line, a quick play by Hooker Lee Chapman from a metre out saw him unstoppable to score. Still a long way to go but confidence was rising.
This confidence was finally eroded as another interception was conceded by Derby for Leamington to score. This was followed by a further couple of converted tries.
Final score Leamington Royals 44 Derby City 10. Man of the match went to Lee Chapman.
Derby were punished by a team that did the basics better although great advancements in discipline was seen this week. Next week sees Derby travelling again to league leaders Northampton.