Derwent Second XI 1
Mansfield Second XI 8
This week saw Derwent with a very tough challenge of facing second-placed Mansfield, who had hammered leaders Corby 6-1 the previous week.
The Dales side approached their home game for some weeks with caution and were behind within a minute.
For the next ten minutes, Derwent were trapped in their own half as Mansfield played some great hockey and tore their opposition to pieces, leading to a further two goals for the visitors.
Derwent now began to recover from the shell shock with some promising play down the left from James Wildgoose and Marcus Fraser.
All this time, the midfield was packing their own D to keep out Mansfield, with captain Alex Erskine, Ben Morton and Tom Leech putting in some last-minute desperate defending to keep them out, but this wasn’t enough and Mansfield went 5-0 up.
Derwent pulled one back moments later when Jim Harrison’s initial strike from a short corner was soaked up by the Mansfield Defence but he picked up a loose ball at the edge of the D and launched the ball from a superb reverse chip, sending it screaming through the defenders and keeper to be buried in the top right of the goal.
Turning round 5-1 down, Derwent looked to regain their pride and dignity, fighting on as a team and keeping the hockey short sharp and simple.
Wildgoose and Mahir Raoof supplied good passes into the waiting attackers of Fraser and Bradbury but, despite their best efforts, they were unable to penetrate the defence.
Derwent were battling with every last morsel of energy as they fought for team pride but Mansfield caught them on the break, converting three times in the last ten minutes.
Though Derwent were highly disappointed with the final result, they were pleased with the second half performance. Many thanks go to Jon Barry and Ann Bradley who went out of their way to get to the game and expertly umpire the fixture. Next week sees the seconds in their last game of the season, away at local midtable rivals Ashbourne.