Rugby team on a great run

A WEEKEND of mixed fortunes for Dereham Rugby Club as the First XV recorded their seventh league win on the trot, while the Seconds went down away at Crusaders and the Barbarians U15 side lost in the quarter-finals of the Norfolk Cup.

A WEEKEND of mixed fortunes for Dereham Rugby Club as the First XV recorded their seventh league win on the trot, while the Seconds went down away at Crusaders and the Barbarians U15 side lost in the quarter-finals of the Norfolk Cup.

Dereham 31, Swaffham 8

The last time Dereham played Swaffham in the league before Christmas they were narrowly beaten by a single point away from home.

Determined to build on their current winning form, club captain Scott Malcolmson dictated that Dereham would play with more intensity and ambition. Despite the heavy conditions the home side linked forwards and backs from the start.

With Derbyshire returning at full back, Sampher in the centre and Pilbrow at fly half, Dereham had handling and kicking options in abundance. Lester was looking for work coming in off his wing and Fish shows improvement every week at scrum half.

The first try came from a good territorial position and the two locks, Brook and Dunsire combined for the latter to charge over for his first club try. The rest of the forwards were soon in on the action as Chester picked up from the back of a line-out, made the initial break before slipping the ball to Canning who broke the next line of defence and set up Edwards to make the last five yards with the remainder of the pack at his back. Derbyshire converted to make it 12-0 and the vice-presidents who'd attended the pre-match lunch were enjoying their afternoon.

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Swaffham were on the same league points total as Dereham and were determined not to give ground. A period of pressure midfield led to a successful penalty attempt and Dereham were reminded that the game was far from dead.

On the stoke of half-time Derbyshire kicked long into the corner. Fish was first to the broken play and picked up 10 yards out, Edwards arrived in support and the two managed to drive close to the Swaffham line before the flanker slipped over for his second of the day for a healthy 17-3 lead at the break.

It was a crucial stage in the game for Swaffham and they changed tactics to a pick and drive as the playing surface deteriorated. But Dereham persisted with a more expansive game and were rewarded when a break down pitch from Derbyshire led to a penalty that he sent left to the lurking Lewis. Drawing the defence, the big prop saw Sampher cutting a line for the corner and put him away for an important score.

Knocks and fatigue saw the introduction of Mat Spooner, Rhys Leeder and Dan Ponder for Head, Lewis and Derbyshire but it didn't change the pattern of play or scoring.

The final home try deservedly went to Stu Lester, cutting off his wing to receive the ball from the back of a ruck at pace and finishing under the posts.

Swaffham never game up the chase and were rewarded with a try after some neat inter-passing left their back line with room to work.

With tired legs Malcolmson decided to close the game down and Dereham played out the last 15 minutes in Swaffham's half using the touchline and the pack to maintain the ball and the territory.

Dereham's resurgence stays on track as they travel to Haverhill.

Crusaders II 24, Dereham II 5

Kev Powley's Second XV were away to Crusaders II and on a very heavy pitch it was the home side that made the better of it.

Two first half tries from short range and a penalty left Crusaders comfortably 17-0 up at half-time.

Dereham's woes were compounded when they conceded again after losing a player to the sin bin but they rallied and exerted 20 minutes of pressure which yielded a try from Tom at No 8, and a couple of scoring appeals which were turned down by the referee. There were bright performances from Morfoot at fly half, Ledward at scrum half and Tom at eight. The seconds also travel, for a derby at Fakenham.

On Sunday the youth section Barbarians team faced their toughest test yet as they took on Norwich in the quarter-finals of the Norfolk Cup.

Norwich are an extremely talented side with several players performing at regional and national level.

Dereham played with huge spirit and determination under Josh's captaincy.

They competed in all areas of the game and were stronger in the scrimmage and line-out than the home side. But Norwich showed greater strength around the breakdown and searing pace in the backs to run in 10 tries.

Affleck did his best to kick Dereham into some attacking positions for Evans, Warren and Edwards to take the fight to Norwich.

Lyons and Fox made the most of their opportunities out wide, but for all their endeavours were unable to breach the try line.

The team were pleased to have made it to the quarter-finals in their first season.Next they face Diss at Moorgate at 11am on Sunday .