The Greens travelled without the experienced and influential pair, Olli Cole and Dave Garbutt. David Haig started in the front row whilst Steve Parker covered in the back row. They also had Clark Murray and Will Robinson making their debuts in the squad.
The game kicked off in blustery conditions with Scunthorpe having the benefit of the strong wind. Initial territory and possession went the way of The Greens but they were held back by some strong defence by the home boys. Pressure eventually told when after a number of phases, Tom Foster broke through with a clever ‘ show and go’ for a touchdown close to the posts. Paul Cook added the extras and Scunthorpe were off the mark with a 7 points to nil lead after 16 minutes of play. On the occasions when the home side did have the ball, Scunthorpe showed some solid defence, particularly in mid field through Oli Wood and Will Robinson.
Paul Cook made a good break from mid-field and then won the race following his own kick ahead, to establish a position close to the home line. Scunthorpe failed to exploit on this occasion but did score again after 30 minutes, by making the most of the absence of home number 8 Willmott, for throwing a punch. Tom Foster once again touching down wide on the left. Cook failed to add the extras but The Greens were now leading by 12 points to nil. Scunthorpe also held a distinct advantage in the scrummage and following a strike against the head the home boys conceded a penalty which Cook converted for a 15 points to nil lead as the first half came to a close.
With Derby now having the wind advantage, would The Greens be able to hold on to their lead. Things were looking good when again some strong mauling from a catch and drive by the pack, lead to Guy Mychuiluk scoring. Cook was unable to overcome the windy conditions for the conversion but with the scoreboard now reading 20 points to nil in the Heslam Park boys favour, 6 minutes into the second period, things were looking good. The Derdyshire boys gradually got their game together and their patience in keeping the ball alive through several phases was rewarded when George Castledine went over. He also managed to improve his try with the conversion to put his side on the score-board at 20 points to 7 after 23 minutes.
Momentum was now with the home boys and when they drove from a line-out, Castledine again managed to break clear for a try close to the posts. He again added the extras and Derby were now only 6 points adrift at 20 points to 14 after 26 minutes. Scunthorpe had the added misery of having Jake Goodison yellow carded just prior to the try being scored. Back came Derby as the whole dynamic of the game altered and now moved the ball wide to the right where Van Wyk, with seemingly nowhere to go, managed to slip outside Chapman and weave inside of the covering Cook to score under the posts. The successful Castledine conversion put the home boys ahead for the first time in the game by 21 points to 20 after 30 minutes of the second half. A successful Castledine penalty in the 38th minute gave Derby clear water with a 24 points to 20 score-line.
Scunthorpe were struggling to establish a position in the home half with time rapidly running out, an outside break by Robinson took them into the home ‘22’ and the pack now exploited the close quarter power and drove continuously close to the ruck, to within reach of the home line, when Mick Dunk, who had come off the bench drove over close to the posts. Cook added the extras with the last kick of the game to gain an outstanding victory which showed great resolve in foiling a strong home come-back in the second half.
This win should act as a great boost to the squad who had overcome a team that were lying 4th in the table and they should now look forward with some confidence to the visit of bottom placed Old Halesonians to Heslam Park next Saturday.
Report by LWJClayton