Dereham’s great rugby run ends

Ipswich YM 15, Dereham 7

RUGBY: This result ended Dereham's undefeated league run which started in October.

Captain Brooke reflected: 'I am really proud of the lads today, we have been really hit by injury and lots of the guys were playing out of position – but they gave it everything and we are disappointed not to have got any points.'

Next, Dereham face Hadleigh at home in a game they hope could really determine their final league position as the two sides have spent most of the year leap-frogging each other in the standings.

At the weekend Dereham were looking to cause a stir by beating top-of-the table Ipswich YM. But plagued by injuries they had a huge reshuffle which saw Evans move to stand-off and Eaglesham join the team in the front row.

Dereham started the game slowly and within five minutes the home side had scored their first try after some slick handling in the backs allowed the full-back to crash through Dereham's defensive line and score.

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Dereham did their best to turn the game in their favour with some strong tackling from Brooke and Ponder. However, Ipswich soon added their second try when another well-drilled move was finished expertly by the winger.

Fearing a whitewash, Dereham started to exert consistent pressure with the kicking of Evans and the direct running of Chester causing trouble in the backs. Canning and Smith were working hard in the forwards with strong rucking to win hard ball for the visitors and set a solid platform for the backs to work off.

Dereham missed a couple of penalties late in the half to leave the score at 12-0 at half-time.

Dereham started the second half at the same high tempo and after 15 minutes were rewarded with a try.

After Eaglesham had gone close to scoring the ball was taken back into contact by Ledwood in the centres before it was recycled quickly for Edwards to drive over the line with the rest of the pack to score.

This score put Dereham within a losing bonus point of Ipswich, but they wanted the win and again pushed hard with Watcham causing the home side problems out wide with strong surging runs and Leeder turning over possession all over the park.

However, with just minutes to go, Ipswich scored a penalty to push Dereham just out of the points.