Belper RFC narrowly lost their Midlands Four East (North) game 27-26 at rivals Amber Valley on Saturday.
This was a big test for Belper as they travelled away to the second in the league side for a fixture which has become something of a local derby.
After a narrow loss to Valley and plenty of heated play earlier in the season, Belper started the match with all guns blazing and looked very dangerous in the backs from the off.
The game never settled for either team, with tries answered with tries throughout the entire game.
Belper’s fantastic combination of Jack Smith and Jack Hibberd at 10 and 12 cut Valley open on more than one occasion, but the sheer weight of the Valley pack pushed around a frustrated Belper pack.
Just as Belper looked set to edge the home team, a penalty try was issued against them for pulling down a Valley maul, and an easy conversion took Valley just one point ahead of a much improved and promising Belper side at the end of the match.
The tries for Belper were scored by Jack Smith, Jack Hibberd (two) and Simon Carter, with Smith adding three conversions.
This Saturday, Ashfield are Belper’s visitors.