Valley’s cup joy

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Amber Valley RUFC rounded off a successful season on Monday by beating Chesterfield Panthers 18-15 in the final of the Derbyshire Shield.

Valley put in a superb team effort to come from 15-3 down to win the shield for the second time in three years.

Chesterfield took the lead with a penalty following some early pressure. Early nerves showing for Valley with some handling errors from Valley as they looked to exploit the pace out wide and move the ball round Chesterfield. But they were showing they had the game to trouble Chesterfield defensively.

Valley moved the ball well and gaining good field position they were soon awarded another penalty to get back on level terms, Shaun Dowdall, who was nerveless with the boot all day, slotting the ball home.

Chesterfield then scored in the corner and take a 10-3 lead. Chesterfield looked like they may run away with it with another try down the right wing again from turnover ball. The conversion was missed and Valley knew that they had to get on the scoresheet next to keep themselves in the game.

Valley’s back row were also starting to dominate the breakdown with Parker, Allen and Head all forcing turnovers. Valley got the crucial score shortly before half-time, a catch and drive from a line-out once again being Chesterfield’s undoing, finished off by Steve Leadbeater.

Into the second half, Valley equalised with a push-over try scored by Adrian Head, once again a superb effort by the entire pack. The conversion was missed but Dowdall soon slotted over a penalty to give them the crucial lead.

With the clock running down, Valley won good turnover ball to keep Chesterfield in their own half and Lee Chapman booted the ball into touch to signal the celebrations.

“The performance was everything we could have asked for, fully committed, the whole team deserved some silverware after such a good season, we can now use this as a springboard for next season in Midlands Three,” said coach Steve Grainger after the game.

Chesterfield voted Lee Chapman the FizzioFit man of the match award. It was well deserved, but in reality this was a true team performance and anyone of the players was worthy of the award.