The last game of a disappointing season, saw Nuneaton arrive at Haslams on a cold April day.
Derby kicked off, with Ben Marlow playing in the unusual position of scrum half. After 3 minutes, Derby were ahead. Jack Dawson took the ball at pace and touched down under the posts. George Castledine converted.
Derby were dominating possession and territory at this stage and scored 3 further tries in an 8 minute spell, starting in the 18th minute.
A good break by Josh Bingham led to the first. Judah Simpson took the ball on and Gabriel Kajdy scored.
Josh Bingham was again involved in the next try, which saw Jack Dawson score again, before Martin Kent, in his last match as skipper, touched down after a forward drive. With George Castledine converting 2, Derby were 26 – 0 ahead.
Nuneaton scored a converted try of their own, 6 minutes before the break, to leave the half time score 26 – 7 to Derby.
Nuneaton started the 2nd half well and scored a 2nd converted try after 52 minutes.
7 minutes later, Josh McCallion, playing for the 1st time this season, darted over from close range, to increase Derby’s lead.
With 16 minutes left, Jack Dawson scored a superb try, running half the length of the pitch, to complete his hat trick. George Castledine converted, to put Derby 38 – 14 ahead.
Nuneaton hit back with 2 late tries, converting 1, before Derby finished the game in style. Derby were awarded a penalty, near the Nuneaton try line. Sam Herrington tapped and crashed over, for his 10th try of the season.
An excellent win for Derby puts them in good spirit for next season, when the challenge will be to try and return to Midland Premier. It will not be easy, but if this performance is anything to go by, it is a realistic target.
Come on Derby !
Match Report by Richard Bambra