Steemson and Hargreaves impress

Amber Valley RFC A 34

Loughborough 14

Amber Valley’s A side took on a mixed Loughborough side and the two teams played out an entertaining game where the lead changed hands twice but Valley proved too strong in the final quarter, to ease away to a comfortable lead.

The visitors started the stronger of the two sides and put Valley on the back foot, but could not penetrate the Valley defence.

The team took what they had been working on in training regarding defensive lines and were difficult to break down. Valley tried to work the ball out of defence, with Lee Steemson turning in a Fizzio-Fit Man of the Match performance with some typical strong running and a good defensive display as his centre partnership with Will Hargreaves was rewarded with four tries.

Valley opened the scoring with some fine interpassing between the backs and forwards. Ashley Allen in particular played some excellent linking play to keep the ball alive and Steemson eventually was given the ball in space to go over to the left of the posts. This was followed with another try straight from kick off. Ashley Allen fielded the kick-off and popped to Lee Chapman who spotted gaps in the on-rushing defence to spin the ball wide to leave Hargreaves with the final run to finish off the score and put Valley in a commanding 12-0 lead.

Loughborough could have capitulated after a string of powerful runs by Valley but showed a great deal of character to come back to 12-6 with a well-struck snap drop goal and penalty as half time approached. Valley perhaps should have got another try before half time, John Trowsdale held up just short of the line.

Loughborough again came out of the blocks well in the second half and deservedly took the lead following a try by the outside centre, collecting a well-weighted grubber kick through the Valley defence and another penalty to put them 14-12 up after 50 minutes.

The home side picked themselves up and once again started to go through the gears, Steemson breaching the defence for another try before Mark Burditt showed great support to finish off a run by Ashley Allen. Will Hargreaves showed his evasive running to get his second, beating several men as he collected the ball just outside the visitors 22.

The game was finished with a try by veteran scrum half Tom Uniacke. With a breakdown three metres from the Loughborough line, he appeared to be tackled from off-side by the eager Loughborough defence but managed to squeeze his way over the whitewash to leave Valley with a comfortable scoreline of 34-14.

Valley face a must-win game against local rivals Belper, today (Saturday) at home, whose 2nd XV beat Valley’s 2nd XV by a single score in a pulsating fixture.