Derby took on Bridgnorth at Haslams, keen to return to winning ways after last week’s defeat at Bournville.
Callum Jones, Ben Marlow and McGrath Van Wyk all returned to the starting XV, while Gabriel Kajdy made his debut from the bench.
Derby could not have made a better start to the game and took the lead after only 2 minutes.
McGrath Van Wyk burst through the Bridgnorth defence, drew the last man and fed Josh Tizard who scored his 5th try of the season. McGrath Van Wyk added the conversion.
Play ebbed to and fro for the rest of the half, both sides having spells of pressure, but unable to turn pressure into points.
As the half drew to a close, the game exploded into life.
Firstly, Bridgnorth had an attacking line out, threw to the front and went over for the try.
Derby responded immediately, winning a penalty under the posts. The chance for 3 points was spurned as Derby took a tap penalty. The Derby pack drove over the Bridgnorth line, with Jack Bates touching down. McGrath Van Wyk added the conversion and Bridgnorth lost Number 8, Molitika, to the sin bin.
A tight game saw Derby ahead 14 – 5 at the break, with both teams feeling the game was there to be won.
Derby started the 2nd half on the front foot and were rewarded with another try. Again it was a forward drive over the line and this time Sam Herrington applied the final touch. An excellent conversion from McGrath Van Wyk gave Derby a 16 point lead.
After 58 minutes, Bridgnorth hit back with a converted try to narrow the gap to 12.
This gap remained until 5 minutes from the end, when sustained Bridgnorth pressure created men over and they scored another converted try.
The game ended with Bridgnorth camped on the Derby line. With the final play of the game, Bridgnorth forced their way over, to snatch victory. The conversion was the icing on the cake.
The game did not restart and Derby had been beaten for the first time on their artificial pitch.
1 league point was secured, but Derby need to start winning some games if they are not going to be looking nervously at the relegation area of the league table.
Derby get a rest next week, before a trip to Broadstreet.
After that, Friday Night rugby comes to Haslams, when Derby take on Burton, under lights with a 7.45 kick off.
Come on Derby !
Match Report by Richard Bambra
Photographs of the Derby v Bridgnorth game can be viewed on the e4creative photography website at www.e4creative-photography.co.uk/galleries/gallery/06102018-derby-1st-xv-v-bridgnorth-1st-xv