July 1, 2023
Match Report: Derby Elks v Sheffield Forgers 01/07/23
Yorkshire Merit League
Derby Elks RL 40 Sheffield Forgers RL 32
With the Forgers dropping out of the league for this season it was agreed we would continue the fixture as a Merit friendly, this gave Derby Elks the opportunity to experiment with positional changes and introduce new players into a game situation.
Forgers were always going to be a tough game no matter what team the Elks fielded and this became apparent in the first 15 minutes of the game.
But it was Derby that took the lead with Hooker Jon Doughty pushing through for a trade mark try, unconverted 4.0
The next 20 minutes were the Forgers, wishing 7 minutes they had scored two converted tries down the slope. Taking the score to 4.12 to Sheffield.
Sheffield continued to apply pressure on the Elks side, only resilient defence ensured that the home side stayed in the game.
Returning centre Gareth Hague, making his first appearance of the season finished a great move to score towards the right of the posts. Unconverted 8.12
Home side defence stayed solid for the remainder of the half to finish Derby Elks RL 8 Sheffield Forgers RL 12
Wholesale changes by the home side and playing down the slope the Elks started the better team of this half.
Half Back Liam Gavin who with his fellow playmaker Owen Gregory continued to pull the strings and guide the team around the pitch. After 3 minutes Gavin broke through two tackles to score an unconverted try 12.12
Replacement Hooker Joshua Jackson continued his rich vein with a 2 metre Try between the posts, converted by Ollie McMahon 18.12
The Elks winger Daryl Sanders received a yellow card and Forgers immediately broke through the gap to score another converted try to bring the score level again 18.18
This changed very quickly with Derbys Gavin scoring his second try of the match out running the away sides defence. Converted by McMahon 24.18
Forgers just coming back!! Scoring two tries very quickly but only converting one to bring the scores to 24.28 to Forgers.
Finally after a serious injury, followed by an operation and lengthy rehab Oscar Tatham made a return to the pitch for the first time in 4 years. Scoring his first try of the day with 12 minutes to go in the game, converted by McMahon 30.28
Just three minutes later Prop Alex Kalyta scored his second try of the season converted by Gavin 36.28
With just a couple of minutes to go in the game Tatham scored his second and 100th point for Derby Elks and Forgers finished the match with an unconverted try 40.32
A very entertaining match, real positive for the Elks showing they have ability developing within the club and all being well will look to provide more game time opportunity in seasons to come.
A number of players stood out for the home side however Liam Gavin for his excellent all round performance was awarded the Ilkeston RUFC Chairmans man of the match for this week.
Next Saturday we see Hemsworth Dragons RL coming to Ilkeston for the return match of the season.