Having toughed out a 20-10 win in heavy underfoot conditions against Bridgnorth at Portway last weekend, the Bees head to Derby this Saturday (12th January 2.15pm KO) for another examination of their league leading credentials.
Pete Glackin and Stewart Pearl keep faith with the starting fifteen that chalked up a thirteenth consecutive league win of the 2017/2018 campaign. Indeed, the only change to the squad is the restoration of Keenan Cooper to the bench, after a pre-match illness last week prompted a late call up for Chris Thompson. In Jack Jolly’s absence, it is Danny Wright’s turn to take the skipper’s armband.
Derby currently sit in 8th spot in the Midlands Premier table on 41 points – just 4 points adrift of fourth placed Doncaster Phoenix. Unlike the Bees, they have had no postponements season to date, winning 7 and losing 8 of their 15 league fixtures.
Many of those losses have been narrow and against some of the league’s stronger sides (8-14 at home and 31-17 away to Peterborough Lions; 24-27 at home to Scunthorpe; 19-23 at home to Newport Salop and 3-24 away at Nuneaton).
With a positive points difference of 49 points, they will be a team – like Bridgnorth last week – who are likely to pose a real threat to the Bees’ current unbeaten record.
The Bees have won all three recent encounters between the two sides. Last season, they ended Derby’s five match unbeaten run with a 14-20 win at Haslams Lane in Round 6 and then completed the double in January with a 32-14 victory at Portway.
This season, a strong second half performance saw the Bees ease to comfortable 57-8 victory back in Round 5 at Portway in September. In that game, the Bees overcame a physical Derby side in some style, scoring nine tries including a hat trick for JT Nabetelevu, as well as keeping a clean sheet in the second half.
The Hornets join their first team colleagues on the coach to Derby for a Midlands Reserve League fixture against Derby 2nds.
Bees squad v Derby (A, 2.15pm KO): - 1. Kurtis Payne, 2. Zane Raimondi, 3. Matt Probert, 4. Andy Weaver, 5. Matt Spink, 6 Danny Wright ©, 7. Michael Stephens, 8, Umraan Jadwat, 9. Jack Secher 10. Max Rodman, 11. Steve Johns, 12. Nathan Tilsley ©, 13. Jimmy Oliver, 14. Tawanda Chipadza, 15. Harry O’Brien, 16. Joe Foreman, 17. Keanan Cooper & 18. Ben Phillips.
Referee: - Rob Teare
Hornets squad v Derby 2s (A, 2.15 pm KO): - 1. Aron Boayke, 2. George Radburn, 3. Harry Smith, 4. Reece Donaldson, 5. Ed Krawlecki, 6. Matthew Collier, 7. Sam Allen, 8. Chris Thompson ©, 9. Sean O’Sullivan, 10. Sonny Young, 11. Joe Cave 12. Jevon Hinds, 13. Matt Dight, 14. Ace Summers, 15. Ben Cooper, 16. Jacob Lisle, 17. Harry Jackson, 18. Cameron May, 19. Jake Ngatchu, 20. Harry Barnes, 21. Diaba
Sat Nav DE22 1EB
Updated 11:16 - 14 Jan 2018 by Richard Smith