May 13, 2023

Match Report: Sheffield Forgers v Derby Elks – 13/05/2023

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Delayed start to the season for Derby Elks due to the prolonged union season but round 1 was a short trip north to Sheffield to play a team they haven’t played in over three years.

Hot weather ensured this would be a sapping day for all players, but the hope was that Derby training and fitness would prevail. Debuts to rugby league Alex Kalyta, Tom Wale and young Rory Starbrook showed the Elks commitment to encourage players to the sport.

From the kick off the away team returned a full set to put the Forgers in the bottom corner, this was rewarded with a break down the left for Liam Gavin to time his pass perfectly for Centre Charlie Clarke to ghost through to score just to the left of the posts. Converted by Gavin. 7 minutes gone and Derby were 0.6 to the good.

Next 10 minutes was even but the home side were the next to score with a break down the left, converted. 6.6 after 17 minutes.

Over the next 15 minutes the young Elks side put them in a great position with dominance in attacking, the left side providing two perfectly timed passes from Half Back Gavin to set Centre Toni Fabris to firstly barge through and then slip through soft tackles for a double. One converted. Forgers 6 Elks 16

Five minutes to half time and Gavin was rewarded with a solo try out wide, unfortunately unable to convert but saw Derby in a great position with half time approaching. Sadly, some injuries and a yellow card for the away team marred the last few minutes but appeared to still be in poll position.

Half Time – Sheffield Forgers RL 6 Derby Elks 20

Second half started in a similar vein to the first but this time Forgers were rewarded with a try bring the score to 6.20 to Derby.

Five minutes later league debutant Prop Alex Kalyta broke through a couple of tackles to reach the line to score. Unconverted 6.24 to Derby.

Fatigue, players out of position and a home side starting to get some ascendancy saw them rewarded with two converted tries in 25th and 28th minute. 12 minutes to go and scores were closing! Forgers 22 Elks 24.

Derby defended extremely well and Forgers continued to bombard the line however strong defence and some minor mistakes allowed the away side to absorb the pressure and start to make their way up field.

9 minutes to go Captain Joe Doughty led by example with a wavy run off a perfect pass from Hooker and brother George to score between the posts. Converted by Gavin. Forgers 22 Elks 30.

This would have knocked the stuffing out of most teams but Forgers continued to look for those two scores and kept going however the young Elks side held on for a deserved win in Yorkshire Mens League 4C.

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