May 25, 2024

Derby Elks off to a winning start at home


Derby Elks RL 60 Lindley St Josephs 10

After what seemed like a never ending union season locally Derby Elks finally got their Yorkshire League 5 programme started with the visit of Lindley St Josephs. Match was played at the Gallows Playing Fields due to the required maintenance on the clubs ground in readiness for the next home matches.

The Elks have managed a 100% win ratio with all games played here however after a sporadic and mixed pre season training session Coach Grant Hunter was unsure what the reaction would be in this first match.

From the outset both teams defended well and completed a couple of sets each, after 5 minutes Half Back Liam Gavin placed a kick in the corner on the last tackle and his chase pressure along with Daryl Sanders the full back misplaced the ball, quick pick up allowed a simple pass for supporting Captain Joe Doughty to take the pass and score between the posts, converted by Cyrus Griffiths. 6.0 to the Elks.

Next ten minutes was an even duel, the defence of the young Elks was formidable and caused a number of knock on which Derby took advantage off. One set completed by Lindley on the 16th minute saw Full Back Charlie O’Mara taking the high ball, couple of pick ups by the backs eventually saw Hooker George Doughty pass the ball to O’Mara now at Half Back, glided through the defence and created a 2 on 1 against the opposition Full Back, unselfishly passing for Joe Doughty to cross for his second, again converted by Griffiths, 12.0 after 18 minutes.

Mid point of the half a break by Centre Lewis Thompson from the Elks half saw him hitting contact on the opposition 10 metre line, Valliant tackling by the Lindley players however with a hand free he was able to offload to the advancing Sanders to score between the posts, converted by Griffith, 18.0 to Derby.

This was followed very quickly (4 minutes!) by a penalty set from the away team, running the ball at Centre Charlie Clarke and Half Back Liam Gavin the impact of the tackles saw the ball bobble and Clarke picked up the ball from the 30 metre line, of he went! With two Lindley players in tow he managed to keep just a nose ahead, finally completing the 70 metre to cross the line, converted by Griffiths, 24.0 to the Derby Elks.

Pressure from the Elks pinned Lindley in their 30 metre area, culminating in a loose pass which saw the ball shoot forward into the hands of Second Row Alex Brown who crossed the line to score, converted by Griffiths again, 30.0 to the home side.

Just before half time a break by Griffiths on the half way line saw a hand out to O’Mara who used his pace to glide around the Full Back to score his first try since 2021, converted by Griffiths which brought the half to an end.

Half Time – Derby Elks RL 36 Lindley St Josephs 0

The Elks started the second half with a very deep kick which caught the opposition unawares resulting in a drop out, from the resulting set, a drive from Bayleigh Steemson-Weir created a platform for them to

work on, a deft pass from Griffiths to Gavin saw him glide through the gap to score after little over a minute of the half gone, converted by Griffiths, 42.0 to Derby.

The home side started to relax and mistakes started to slip into their plays, pushing when not necessary however whilst Lindley were starting to get a foot hold in the game Elks were the next side to score, after 16 minutes of the half Hooker Doughty broke and with options either side passed for the Galway Hargreaves to score his first try for the club, again converted by Griffiths, 48.0

Next 8-10 minutes saw Lindley score two tries, seizing the opportunity on poor tackling and decision making coupled with tiredness and player changes which brought the game to 48.10 but with the Elks still in the lead.

The last ten minutes saw Derby wake up again and settle back into their pattern, the kick off was dropped by the Lindley player, resulting scrum saw Gavin step out to allow Thompson to run back on the angle to score his 60th try for the club, converted by Griffiths, 54.10

With almost the last play of the match, Winger Craig Woodason intercepted a loose pass, stopped on the 40 metre line, quick hands saw an interchange between Thompson, Prop Christian Suess who popped a pass for Captain Doughty to score and seal his hat trick. Not surprisingly converted by Griffiths to maintain his 100% return on the day.

Final Score – Derby Elks RL 60 Lindley St Joseph’s 10.

A very competitive game played in the right spirit and for the home side an opportunity to entertain the crowd with how they can potentially play.

Try Scorers:-

  • Alex Brown
  • Charlie Clarke
  • Joe Doughty x 3
  • Liam Gavin
  • Galway Hargreaves
  • Charlie O’Mara
  • Daryl Sanders
  • Lewis Thompson


  • Cyrus Griffiths 10 from 10

Ilkeston RUFC Chairman’s man of match award George Doughty

Elks next travel to Crigglestone All Blacks RL for their Round 2 game.

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