Defences dominate Ilkeston v Derby clash at the Stute

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Ilkeston and rivals Derby did battle at the Stute with the visitors edging a close game 10-3 in Midlands Division One East.

Heavy showers during the morning made running rugby difficult although both sets of coaches will be pleased with their respective teams defensive peformances.

The home side were thankful to Greg Taylor for a steal on their own five-metre line as Derby pressed early on and on seven minutes their pressure paid dividends.

Derby attacked and recycled well, Elks were too keen with the defence and were penalised for off side. The penalty was well struck to give Derby a 3-0 lead.

Elks’ first real attack came from the scrum, resulting in Derby being penalised for collapsing and the hosts kicked to the corner and won a clean line out.

The ball was moved into midfield with Alex Ayres on the crash but he was well tackled and Derby won a penalty at the breakdown to launch another attack stolen by Taylor.

Hugh Smith was dragged down just short of the line for Elks but poor discipline resulted in a penalty for going off their feet at the ruck, allowing Derby to clear.

Taylor was forced off with injury on 23 minutes, replaced by Sean Gordon. Elks finished the half strongly and following several phases Derby were penalised for offside.

Andor Benji converted the kick to level things up at 3-3 as the half time whistle blew.

Derby started to dominate territory and possession although the Elks defence was strong and clear openings were not found.

The visitors attacked from a line out on half way and moved the ball left, good hands in the conditions found space on the left for probably the first time in the game and the Derby winger squeezed in at the corner on the hour.

The conversion was well struck from the touchline to make it 10-3 and Derby saw the game out. Tom Pottinger launched the last Elks attack but was forced in to touch, finishing the game.