12 men defy all the odds

Notts Security Plus Pennant League Group Two

Bakewell Mannerians 2nd XV 24

Ashbourne 2nd XV 20

Bakewell finished their season with a flourish against their local rivals, at the end of a difficult league campaign, following defeats by Lincoln and Dronfield.

Bakewell started with the luxury of a full team, although a head injury to Brocklehurst early on left them a man down.

Both sides suffered injuries due to the hard ground. Ashbourne lost their flying left winger and Bakewell’s front row was depleted by the loss of Rod Bell.

It was nip and tuck throughout the first half, the only score coming from an Ashbourne penalty.

Things hotted up after the break. Bakewell registered tries by Hopkinson and Crapper, but Ashbourne hit back with two tries to keep the game alive. A further injury to Clewes left Bakewell with just 12 men on the park for the last half an hour, which seemed to stiffen their resolve.

It should have been a cakewalk for Ashbourne but their forwards looked below par against a Bakewell unit which lifted their game. Bentley never took a step back at tighthead and Elliott was a colossus at second row.

Added to this, Ashbourne struggled to cope with the pace of Tom Farenden at flanker, ably assisted by father Rob, so that Bakewell’s six-man pack carried the day.

Bakewell’s resilience was backed up by pace at half back, where newcomer Will Seracold had an excellent game.

Ashbourne were unable to make use of their superiority in numbers.

A blistering score by Seracold caused Ashbourne to rally and hit back with a try of their own, but Bakewell had the final say with Hopkinson’s second try.