Bakewell Mannerians 2nd XV 34
Amber Valley 2nd XV 22
Mannerians recorded their first double of the season at the Showground on Saturday, with their young players making a telling difference between the two sides in this Pennant League Group Three.
With four minutes gone, Ethan Bagshawe latched onto a ball kicked through from a Bakewell break to score by the posts. Next, winger Cleverley came scorching down the flank, only to be stopped just short of the line. Five minutes later, from Bakewell’s scrum on Valley’s 22, O’Neil fed centre Rob Foster, who finished off a fine try.
Ben Hopkinson, returning to the number eight slot, gave Valley problems with his strong running, with a surging break after 12 minutes, and Pete Fearn was on hand to round off another fluent score.
The indefatigable Ed Boam brought Bakewell’s fourth try on 20 minutes with typical determined finishing.
But that was the end of Bakewell’s dominance. Amber Valley were clearly fed up with being given the runaround, and with their subs on hand, the nature of the game changed as Bakewell took their foot of the gas.
Strong driving play saw Valley force a set scrum ten metres out, and the pushover try which followed was clinically executed.
On the half hour, after strong rucking, Valley moved the ball through the hands for their big centre to outflank the defence to score in the corner.
Bakewell replied with an elusive run from the outstanding Tom Farenden at 13, to score close in but Valley came back again with another pushover try to make the scores 31-17 at the break.
The second half turned into a bruising physical contest. Valley could not contain Bakewell’s young players out wide, but they now proceded to dominate the setpieces and deny Bakewell useful ball.
This showed particularly in the scrums as Valley’s experienced forwards turned the screw. Bakewell’s front five were no slouches with veterans Pearce and Bentley at prop, and the hugely effective Fearn at number two but they were under huge pressure, and Valley scored another pushover try on the hour mark.
With the score at 31–22, Valley were closing in with burgeoning forward play and the game looked far from over.
With Valley forcing Bakewell’s two props to seek respite, it was left to veteran Richard Wilde to step in.
The game ground through scrum after scrum but Bakewell now refused to yield and Valley were denied any further score.
The home side needed all their subs, Purseglove slotting in well at number eight, and Harker replacing the bloodied Paul Boon.
The final score was a Bagshawe penalty to finish an excellent performance by Bakewell’s second string side.