Market Rasen & Louth 1st XV 6 Derby 1st XV 30
ON an unseasonably hot afternoon, league leaders Derby arrived at Willingham Road with an air of confidence, but found themselves confronted by a determined Rasen side who gave as good as they got in a game punctuated by a number of flare ups.
Rasen got off to a flying start as lock Leigh Dearden fielded the kick off and broke the early tackles before offloading to winger Nick Harvey who chipped the ball over the advancing defender, but was unable to re-gather his kick.
However in the second minute Derby conceded a penalty and centre Mihal Grint sent the ball sailing through the uprights to give Rasen an early lead.
The second period began badly as the Rasen kick off failed to travel ten metres to put Derby on the offensive. An early penalty forced Rasen further back as Derby kicked to touch.
The black and ambers secured possession from the line out and drove towards the home line. This time their force was irresistible and substitute Pete Wilcox, only on the pitch because of his teammate’s enforced absence in the bin, was driven over the line.
Fullback Peter Everton, who had been sound under the high ball all afternoon, made another clean catch as his dancing feet then enabled him to evade several Derby defenders as he made a clean break before linking with Dave Starling.
The flanker then made further inroads through a retreating Derby defence, but looking for support he was hauled down and Derby averted the danger.
Frustrated by their inability to breach the red and green line from close range, Derby conceded a penalty and found themselves marched back 30 metres by the referee.
Unfortunately from the resulting lineout, Rasen overthrew and Derby snaffled the ball at the tail to set up their backs, where swift transference of the ball found the speedy Meddings out wide to score in the corner.
Derby continued to keep up the pressure before Rasen collected their third yellow card as centre Anthony Jones was penalised to take no further part in the game.
With time running out a superb last gasp tackle from Dave Starling prevented Brelsford from scoring in the corner, but Derby had accomplished their goal with a bonus point win, although probably with more resistance than they had thought at the outset.
Rasen were given a lesson as Derby punished them for the undisciplined performance.