Belper Rugby Club have hit the ground running this season, says first team captain Callum Schofield.
Two wins from their opening two fixtures in the Midlands 3 East (North) Division has helped to breed confidence around Strutts Field.
A curtain raising 17-10 victory away to Sleaford followed by a 43-5 success over Spalding at home has Belper riding high in the table.
And Schofield could not be happier with the start the first team have made to the campaign after a solid pre-season’s work over the summer.
He said the win over Sleaford on opening day was “huge” at a place a lot of teams in the division struggle to get anything out from.
“This was particularly pleasing as Sleaford have really been our bogey team in the league for the last couple of seasons,” he said.
“They beat us by a single point twice two seasons ago, and beat us by similar margin in both games last year too.
“This was actually the first time that we have beaten them away in many a year, if ever, so this really was a huge result for us.”
And it laid the foundations for their first home game of the season last weekend against a Spalding side who had started well.
“It was in front of a good crowd at Strutts Field,” he said.
“It was also against a confident Spalding team who had started their season in fine form with a 60 point win over Bakewell.
“The boys were absolutely awesome from the off.
“We had a powerful yet mobile pack of forwards which meant up front we showed the physicality that we have lacked in recent times.
“This gave our lightning quick backs plenty of good ball and space to play into, which lead to some great running rugby.
“Things just came together nicely on the day. We blew Spalding away and ended up winning 43-5, and scored seven tries along the way.”
The club’s second team ended their pre-season with a narrow defeat against a strong Sleaford side before beating Dronfield 28-19 away on Saturday.
Schofield said: “They travelled with a strong squad and the fact that more and more players are coming down to training week in week out really showed.
“Belper were far more organised than their opposition and scored some brilliant tries.”
While the club is reaping the rewards of increased numbers and were able to field a thirds team.
“This weekend was an even bigger weekend for the club in terms of its development,” said Schofield.
“For the first time in about six years our fantastic availability allowed us to organise a third team fixture against Ashfield at home.
“We had a full squad of 20 players and this was a great mix of experience and youth, exactly what a third team should be.
“Unfortunately, Ashfield dropped out only a couple of hours before the game was scheduled to take place due to a lack of numbers.
“This was very frustrating as all the lads were itching for a game, but this demonstrates where we are currently at as a club.
“The atmosphere around the place is absolutely fantastic and people want to play for Belper.”
Reflecting on the first, second and third team as a whole, he added: “All together it was a really successful weekend for the club.
“We have a weekend off from league action this weekend, but we are already looking forward to two more league games on the 29th September.
“Who knows, maybe even a third team game too!”
The first team travel to Ashfield on Saturday 29th September, while the seconds are at home to Ashfield thirds in the Security Plus Pennant Group 4 North.