Belper RUFC defeat Ashfield RUFC to close gap at top of league

Rugby union
Rugby union

Belper won 37-17 to end ashfield’s unbeaten run and close the gap at the top to one point.

Belper went into the game without influential centres Rory peverell and Jack Smith and also missed number 8 Craig Innocent.

Still out was injured captain Simon Carter so Tom Stones carried on as captai, while hooker Chris Haines, Frank Watson and Jake Holmes came in to the team.

Belper started brightly and went ahead via a Tom Stones penalty.

Belper had Ashfield in their own half for the first part of the game, but the home side settled down and showed why they were top with good breaks.

After a period of pressure by the home side Belper fought back into the opposing half and, from a scrum, Belper’s backs came alive.

Great hand from Watson to Lowden released Jake Holmes to score brilliantly in the corner, with Stones converting to take the lead to 10-0.

Belper then had to cope with some home pressure which resulted in Ashfield scoring to end the half 10-5 to the visiting side.

Belper’s pack was again doing well with Dakin, Haines, Woodward, England and Kmieciak all pushing on to secure their own ball and put Ashfield under pressure.

With Belper having one of their best benches all season on came Merv Holmes and Jarrod mordue at half-time to keep the momentum on.

Again Belper fought well at the break down and the defence stepped up. It was this defence which ultimately proved too strong and gave Belper the ball to score three excellent tries.

Stones extended the lead first for Belper through a penalty before Chalkin pounced on a loose ball to run from half way to score.

Jake Holmes then did exactly the same following big hits from Mordue and Haines to go in under the posts.

Wilmott was unlucky not to score as he ran a perfect line, but was tackled just before the line.

Belper then lost Stones for 10 minutes as the referee deemed Belper were continuously holding onto the player or ball at the break down.

This led to Ashfield pushing hard and scoring to close the gap.

Belper had to do some defending now and scrum half James Naylor was determined not to let Ashfield back into the game with some outstanding tackles and kicks to relieve the pressure.

Belper had more possession in the Ashfield half and the next to score was hat-trick hero Jake Holmes.

He was in the right place as Dakin powered forward and off loaded to Holmes to score.

The home side came back at Belper and scored their third try to make the score 32-17 to Belper.

The gap at the top is now down to one point and Belper will be hoping build on this.