Belper RFC 1sts started 2014 in fine style with what turned out to be a comfortable 38-12 win against a Tupton side sitting two places above them in the Midlands Four East (North) league.
With weather conditions hitting the first team pitch, Belper had to move to the second team pitch, which was smaller and could possibly have played into the visitors’ hands.
They needn’t have worried as they produced an excellent performance, scoring five tries.
Belper came out of the blocks flying and could have been three tries up in ten minutes had Richard Scott not been held just short, Dave Bacon being judged as not grounding the ball properly and Tony England going close after a fine lineout move.
The first points came from a penalty from Jack Smith who went on to be 100 per cent from the boot. Soon after the restart, Belper had good a scrum position. The ball was spun wide and electric hands from Jack Hibberd released Rory Peverell who jinked his way to the line.
The lead was extended when Gaz Dakin ran a perfect line from a Smith pass to go over. The half ended in disappointment as captain Simon Carter pulled his groin and the resultant pass led to Tupton scoring a very soft try. The half-time score was 15-5.
The visitors started the half well and put pressure on the home side especially in the scrum.
Belper then produced an excellent counter-attacking try with Jack Hibberd managing to scramble over the line. Any hope of a Tupton comeback was dashed as Dave Bacon went over for a powerful try and despite a sloppy try being given away Belper finished the game with a well worked team try. Gaz Dakin stole the ball and Richard Scott danced through the defence, only to be held just short.
Quick hands from Tony England then put in Rossi Gray to finish the scoring.
This was an excellent team performance but a special mention must go to the back row of Holmes, Matthews and Scott, who covered every blade of grass and were superb.
Next up is a visit to high flying Amber Valley this Saturday.