Derby City 58, NEW Ravens 20

NORTH East Worcestershire Ravens produced an encouraging second-half display despite defeat in the Midlands Premier on Saturday.

For the second week in a row, Ravens were playing away but they travelled up to the East Midlands with 17 players, four of whom were making their debuts for the club.

This was a big improvement on last year, as at time they had only 13 players available.

The visitors started well and kept Derby at bay with some strong tackling but the floodgates opened once they had score the game’s first try from a penalty.

Dave Wimbury found a chink in Derby’s defence and got over in the corner for a try and just missed the conversion.

The rest of the half belonged to the hosts as Ravens were penalised at every opportunity and Derby ran in four further touch-downs to give them a half-time 30-4 lead. After the break, Ravens get back into the game with Charlie Robinson, making his senior debut for the club, scoring a try after a tremendous break from 40 metres out.

Next on the score sheet was veteran Jason Spafford, who scored a trademark hooker’s try as he burrowed under two would-be tacklers to score.

Dave Swaysland then crashed over to bring the Ravens within 20 points with 14 minutes left on the clock.

But it was a mountain too high to climb as Derby hit back with three tries of their own, two of them interceptions, as the Worcestershire outfit were caught out looking for more scores in order to close the gap.

Derby’s final try of the game came when one of their players caught a high ball from a Ravens player and raced 60 metres to score under the posts, despite the best efforts of Bradley Sinclair to stop him.

Sinclair was sin-binned for a clumsy tackle on a Derby player who immediately saw red for punching him in retaliation.

The Ravens won’t be too far away from their first win if they can build on this encouraging second-half display, with Charlie Robinson man of the match.

Saturday sees the Ravens looking for quick revenge against Derby in a home match at Hopwood Park (2.30pm ko).

Senior training is on Wednesdays at 7pm and junior sessions Sundays at 10.30am.

After five games, Ravens are bottom of the table with no points.

The club are holding a junior festival on June 15.