.NLD U16s played, once again, on the new all-weather pitch at Derby RFC
After the weather we have had in the run up to Sunday, arriving in sunshine set up match day, but the clouds came over by kick off. Having won the toss, the NLD skipper choose to make them play into the sun. Pity the sun decided to hide.
After the last game’s slow start, NLD set out to make amends. Running hard at EC’s defence they made the most of early possession to force a penalty, which Tom Wigglesworth stepped up and turned into three points. 3-0
From the restart, NLD kept the ball well and, when EC had the ball, pressured their line forcing a penalty from not releasing in the tackle. From the resulting line out on the EC 22-yard line, a clean catch and drive saw the NLD pack rumble all the way to the try line with Ben Hart peeling off to score the first try. 8-0
Straight from the KO Liam Cooling ran straight back at EC offloading to his fellow prop Josh White. The pair looked more like centres than forwards and with the ball being fed quickly wide, Tom Davies scored; this time the conversion was good. 15-0
EC came back at NLD and with some good attacking play looked like forcing their way to our try line, but a great steal at the tackle saw NLD counter-attack and Jack Taylor strode away to score the third converted try. 22-0
The final try of the half came from yet another break by a prop feeding the ball to Tom Wigglesworth who dutifully touched down under the posts and converted his own try. 29-0 at the break.
Making several changes at half-time left us wondering if we had tinkered too much, but the bench proved just as worthy of game time as the starters.
Stealing the ball once more at the breakdown saw a kick ahead chased and gathered by Harry Clough who scored a converted try. 36-0
EC tried attacking from their own half but struggled to break out and a forced pass led to Ben Hart gathering a loose ball, which fed to Cormac Calnan saw him score a converted try 43-0
The next try came from a scrum in midfield which saw a great interchange and straight running by the centre pairing resulting in Ethan Heath-Drury scoring a converted try bringing up the 50 – 0
Not to be outdone by the backs Jake Dunn broke through the EC defence and set up a thoroughly deserved try for Liam Cooling. 57 – 0
With the clock ticking down NLD then conceded a series of penalties which lifted EC, they drove to the NLD line and from a five metre scrum their No 8 pealed blind and dragged three NLD players over the line for a much deserved consolation try.
Final score NLD 57 – EC 5
“Good performance yesterday and an enjoyable game for the spectators too.” Lee Slack NLD U18s Manager
Big thank you to Derby RFC once again for their hospitality and to NLD for providing the three officials.