Amber Valley RUFC 1sts got their first league victory in a strong performance at home to neighbours Belper to win 17-10.
Valley could barely have had a worse start as Belper immediately won a penalty within striking distance to take a 3-0 lead in the first minute, but Valley were to restrict any more chances until the final ten minutes.
The home side were soon on the front foot with the pack showing their dominance in the setpiece and competing well in the loose.
Valley shut down any attacking threat with excellent defence in the centres to keep the bulk of the play in the Belper half.
It was from a period of sustained pressure that Valley got the first score. With Wardale stretching for the line, the Belper defender was adjudged to have kicked the ball from Wardale’s grasp and a penalty try was awarded.
Valley’s next try was a full team effort, eventually finished by Arron Robinson to put Valley 12-3 up at half time.
Valley twice went down to 14 men in the second period for technical offences but held Belper out for the first stoppage and then were rewarded with an Adrian Head try when back to the full complement to make it 17-3.
The second yellow gave Belper heart and a concerted effort was rewarded when their openside was able to stretch over the line, despite the best efforts of Lee Steemson.
Belper threw everything they had at the home side in the final minutes before the referee blew for full time.
Valley need to kick on from this result if they are to avoid a relegation dogfight and with a visit to newly-promoted East Retford next week, they have a great chance to get two wins on the bounce and start climbing the table.