North Derbyshire Chargers 16
Northampton Demons 66
Chargers’ Open Age team suffered a heavy defeat to table topping Northampton in a bruising contest on Saturday.
Despite a lot of heart, character and defensive skills that have been seen in the last few weeks, the Charges were guilty of silly errors that cost the side dearly.
They began well, however, by putting Northampton under pressure from the kick off which enforced a handful of early mistakes to allow forwards Jamie Brown, Gaz Pinnick and Rob Stevens the chance to test the Demons defence.
The league leaders withheld the early onslaught and turned the tables quickly with the pace in the backs to race into an 18-0 lead.
Chargers deservedly got on the scoreboard after a forceful run by prop Shane Edge took up field. Scrum half Tom Hughes hit loose forward Damien Pope with a perfect pass which sent him past the trailing arm on the first line of defence, only to be stopped just short of the line.
A quick ball saw centre Dave Brown take two men with him as he crashed over the line to score in the corner.
Some handling errors allowed Northampton to have the better of the first period and several more tries saw them finish the half 40-18 up.
After a strong team talk, the Chargers started the second half brightly with some good interplay between half backs Josh Rymell and Adam Bates led to several openings.
But the returning Danny Rymell and James Blakey were thwarted by a strong defence.
Chargers had some urgency about them but after an error in midfield, Demons broke away and some poor tackling saw them score out-wide.
Chargers look depleted after giving so much pressure and conceding a try, rather than scoring, and this told as some missed tackles allowed a couple more Demons scores.
Thomas Schofield put a chip kick into the corner for Pope to pat the ball back for Sam Parkes to score his first try of the season. Pope added the extras.
Chargers were spurred on by this and took heart with some good forward play to take them to within 10 metres. Edge stopped just short, but quick ball by Schofield saw Pope crash over for his seventh of the season before he stepped up to add the extras.
It proved to be the end of the Charges’ scoring as the pace and fitness of the Demons told with two more late tries to finish 66-16 victors.
Returning Rob Potts has a lot to think about ahead of his first session this week with Birmingham the visitors on Saturday.