Coach pleased by Dereham’s rugby progress

Dereham 13, Ipswich YM 38

RUGBY: Dereham, at home to runaway league leaders Ipswich, despite the scoreline finished with a lot of credit, having given their visitors a torrid time and limiting them to less than 40 points for the first time this season.

Ipswich have a reputation for starting their game at a high tempo, but Dereham had done their homework and more than matched them in the early stages.

Ipswich were stunned when, after 10 minutes, Tom Edwards caught a superbly-weighted throw from Evans. Dane Canning burst off the back of the line-out and Jack Edwards jinked inside and close to the posts for a try. Evans added the extra two points and Ipswich found themselves in uncharted territory.

The sides remained evenly matched.Ipswich looked well-drilled with ball in hand but were restricted by the ferocious tackling of Chester and Fish.

Lake probed the fringes and made some telling box-kicks for Rayner and Morgan Gant to attack. But Ipswich swept a ball quickly out to the left and found space to score out wide.

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A few minutes later they nudged into the lead with a move from the blind side of a scrum that had more than a hint of obstruction.

Dereham continued to look dangerous, Chester going close with a kick and chase only to be beaten to the touch-down by a wicked bounce. Then Evans reduced the deficit to two points just on the stroke of half-time with a well-struck penalty.

Ipswich came out of the blocks looking like a team with something to prove and Dereham failed to match their pace of the first half and suffered the consequences as Ipswich ran in four tries in quick succession to effectively kill the game.

Andy Brooke's team were smarting and worked hard to get back into the game. Brooke made two substitutions, bringing on veterans Shaun Murphy and Carl Edwards – as he had against Mildenhall.

Dereham tightened the game up and worked the percentages, kicking for position, picking and driving and taking the play back into Ipswich territory.

From a quick penalty Ipswich cynically failed to give way the 10 metres, leading to a penalty which Evans converted, and a yellow card reduced Ipswich to 14 men.

Dereham were pushing hard to take advantage when their fly half was taken late off the ball and the reaction from the Dereham side led to their own yellow card for Chester.

Ruddy Gant moved to the centres and Dereham continued to push forward but were unable to reduce the deficit further.

Dereham's coach Roy Head saidafter the game: 'We've worked hard on our defence and ball retention. We gave away fewer penalties this week and if it hadn't been for a loss of concentration at the start of the second half we would have been pushing Ipswich all the way.

'This was a good measure of how far the side has come and we need to take the same attitude into our next match, away against Hadleigh.'