Ilkeston hold on to beat their Derbyshire rivals
Midlands East One
ILKESTON travelled to Cromford Meadows to play Matlock knowing they had never before won a league fixture there.
But they held on well to beat their Derbyshire rivals 44-37.
Elks were without Steve Quinn, Marc Moore and Jake Lamb through injury. In came Chris Tipton and Dean Chapman, with Lewis Taylor returning from injury.
After only four minutes the Elks were penalised at the breakdown and the kick sailed over to give Matlock a 3-0 lead.
Ilkeston then settled into the game and Lewis Taylor showed his pace to register the first try on eight minutes. The conversion was missed.
Back came Matlock and when the Elks were penalised for offside they kicked another penalty on ten minutes to regain the lead.
Joel Haigh kicked a penalty and then Adam Corcoran crashed over on 28 minutes. The conversion was missed to make it 6-13.
The Elks were caught offside and this time the referee singled out Alex Ayres and sin-binned him on 30 minutes. Matlock kicked the penalty.
Matlock then used their numerical advantage to score on 36 minutes to close the gap to 16-13.
Back came the Elks and this time Matlock had a man sent to the bin. The visitors made it count and Corcoran got the vital touchdown which was converted by Jono Falls on the stroke of half-time.
Elks were soon on the attack after the break and Haigh found Dan Taylor to score with a swallow dive on 43 minutes. Falls' conversion made it 16-27.
Dan Taylor then made good ground and fed brother Lewis, who still had work to do. But he managed to evade three defenders to score on 47 minutes. Falls again made no mistake.
Matlock were penalised from the kick-off and marched back a further ten metres for back chat.
This time Haigh did not feed the backs but dummied the onrushing defence to score under the posts on 52 minutes.
The conversion from Falls gave the Elks daylight at 16-41.
Wells replaced Dean Chapman and Tom Pottinger came on for Shoebridge after 54 minutes. Matlock had their first real chance of the second half and took it well to score on the right after 59 minutes to make it 23-41.
Shoebridge came back on for Chris Tipton after 70 minutes. Matlock tried a speculative cross kick which was defended by Wells but knocked on. Matlock worked the ball well from the scrum, driving with the forwards and finding space on the left to score on 71 minutes.
Jack Townsend came on for Lewis Taylor after 72 minutes. Matlock now clearly believed they could come back and worked the ball left to score again on 74 minutes. The conversion made it 37-41.
The Elks looked shell-shocked after conceding 21 unanswered points as the game entered the last five minutes.
But Matlock were caught offside and Falls made the kick on 78 minutes to round off the scoring.
Midlands 2 East North
Despite being behind for periods of the game, Casuals showed great determination to snatch a 28-24 win at Belgrave.
When Henry Franklin was sin-binned, Belgrave put the ball into touch and subsequently drove over for a converted try.
Casuals missed two kicks at goal, but scored on 29 minutes when Mark Higgins put his third attempt over.
A kick ahead was messed up in Casuals 22, and from the lineout, Belgrave crossed for their second try.
Casuals saw another kick go off target but they were awarded another penalty which Higgins put over.
Casuals continued to press and prop Joe Elderkin rumbled over for his first try for the first team. Higgins' conversion gave Casuals a slender one-point lead.
Steve Sarno grabbed Casuals second try, but Belgrave turned the tables and finally got a pushover try.
It was looking ominous for Casuals but Higgins pounced on a loose ball to score a try, which he converted himself.
He was then successful with another penalty, leaving Belgrave needing to cross for a try to win. But Casuals were able to run time down to clinch victory.
Midlands 4 East (N)
Long Eaton pulled off a fine 25-3 win at Cleethorpes, who were better than their league position showed.
Long Eaton, giving away around three stones a man across the park, swept into the lead after ten minutes through Liam James following a fine forward's effort.
Gary Sumpter added a penalty five minutes later but Cleethorpes responded with a penalty of their own.
Then quick thinking by Matt Pearce saw him run from 60 yards to score under the posts and give Long Eaton a 13-0 lead at the break.
The second half saw Long Eaton dominate and score two more tries through Ryan Beresford and Alex Poyser.
Cleethorpes never threatened despite a hard, physical battle.
The Long Eaton 2nd team hammered a weakened Nottinghamians 2nd's 55-0 at West Park.
Aaron Thomas got three tries in the first ten minutes, but Nic Betchley and Nick Wilson were given MoM for playing for 'Hamians for the entire game.