Featherstone Lions 24 North Derbyshire Chargers 8
Chargers travelled to Featherstone seeking a third win in four matches on the road, hoping to bounce back from a heavy defeat seven days earlier.
Whilst this defeat in Featherstone was not the result wanted, the second half of this Yorkshire league fixture exemplified the character and resilience that the young Derbyshire side are gaining as they increase experience in their debut season in the competition.
Lions got off to the best possible start with a try on their first set, returning the ball from the Chargers kick off. The missed conversion was a let-off as Chargers found themselves 4-0 down in under a minute.
They were unlucky not to strike back instantly. Ben Bishop playing on the left wing made a fierce tackle on his opposite number dislodging the ball and winning the visitors a scrum.
The ball was moved quickly from the base of the scrum to Captain Jacob Teasdale, who created space for a dart between two defenders, however his final pass to winger Gabe Ward was knocked to ground by the last-gasp stretch from a Lions defender.
Chargers were working hard in defence but Lions’ experience and swift ball-movement to the wings was stretching and challenging the Derbyshire outfit.
However, they weren’t giving up and front rower Cory Green chased back 30m to catch the Lions right winger on a break down the line showing his enthusiasm and range of skills.
Lions doubled their lead after 11 minutes, an excellent cross-field kick on the last tackle stretching the Chargers defence and creating space for the winger to shrug off his opposite Chargers number before falling over the try-line.
The second half was a tight and entertaining affair as both sides traded attacking sets and committed defence, Chargers seeking to narrow the deficit and Lions seeking to secure their win and reurn to the top of the league.
The final score at Millpond, Featherstone, was 24-8 to the home side; however Chargers can take pride and confidence from their much-improved second half display.
Chargers return to 2012 Dunston Road on June 29 to welcome King Cross Park.