Derby travelled to Abbeydale Park looking for their first league points of the year. They made 1 change to the starting XV, with Luke Frixou starting on the wing. Dan Hyams, Judah Simpson and Nathan Crow all returned to the bench.
Derby kicked off, on a dry day, but with a strong crosswind making life tricky.
Sheffield were immediately into their stride and scored a try after just 2 minutes. An excellent touchline conversion made the score 7 – 0.
The game settled and in general, both defences were more effective than the attacks, with few clear chances for both sides.
The nearest Derby came to getting on the scoreboard, was a long range George Castledine penalty which fell just short.
Half time saw no further score and Derby had certainly shown enough to believe they could go on and win the game. They would have to stop dropping the ball though !
The 2nd half was only 5 minutes old, when a scuffle broke out which resulted in Dan Hyams and a Sheffield player being dispatched to the sin bin.
2 minutes later, Sheffield kicked a penalty to extend their lead to 10 points.
The half was, in many ways, a repeat of the first, with excellent defence from both sides stifling the attacks.
Derby looked to have suffered a terminal setback, when with 10 minutes remaining, George Castledine received a yellow card.
Derby kept Sheffield out for the 10 minutes and with the game entering injury time, produced their most sustained attack of the match.
Time and again they drove to the Sheffield line. When Derby did get the ball over the line it was judged to be held up. Sheffield lost 2 players to the sin bin during the spell of pressure.
With the award of another penalty and with the last play of the game indicated, Derby opted for a kick at goal to try and get a losing bonus point. George Castledine stepped up and the ball sailed between the posts.
Another good performance, with the reward of a league point, sets Derby up for Bournville at Haslams next week.
Come on Derby !
Match Report by Richard Bambra
Photographs of the Sheffield v Derby game can be viewed on the e4creative photography website at www.e4creative-photography.co.uk/galleries/gallery/12012019-sheffield-1st-xv-v-derby-1st-xv