Lincoln Imps XV player/coach Brad Nixon remained proud of his players as they finished as runner-up in the NLD 2ND XV Cup Final after defeat against Derby.

Lincoln, who superbly knocked out Mansfield and Southwell to reach the final, refused to give up throughout the match in what proved to be a difficult afternoon for the underdogs.

A yellow card was shown to Lincoln’s Jack Miles for leading with his elbow in the early stages of the match.

Derby kicked the resulting penalty into touch before a maul soon followed. From the next phase they broke through a Lincoln tackle to go over for a converted try.

Lincoln tried to get back into the game with a lot of phases inside Derby’s 22 leading to a penalty. Lincoln opted for a scrum, but unfortunately lost the ball.

Derby extended their lead by slotting over a penalty before quick hands set up a try in the corner.

Lincoln were reduced to 14 men when Alex Brodrick received a yellow card following repeated team offences.

Lincoln cut the gap in the score when Derby were penalised for offside from a quick tap penalty after 25 minutes.

Luke Brodrick opted for a kick at goal and calmly slotted over a penalty as Lincoln trailed 15-3 going in at the break.

A catch and drive from a lineout put Derby over for another try as the game moved further out of Lincoln’s grasp in the second half.

Derby scored a further two tries to put the gloss on their cup victory, but Lincoln, who are also second in their league, refused to give up and battled hard right until the end.

After the match Lincoln Imps XV player/manager Brad Nixon said: “I couldn’t be prouder of the Imps getting to the final.

“We came up against a very strong Derby side and we have learned some lessons which will make us a lot stronger.

“Me, Taff (coach Andy Miles) and Trig (Adam Kelleher) couldn’t have asked more from the lads and it’s a great achievement for each player getting to the final.”

Captain Luke Brodrick added: “I am so proud to lead these boys to the final. The result didn’t reflect the game.

“Although we lost to the better team, the margin we lost by didn’t reflect how we played. We gave it everything from minute one to minute 80 and I could not be prouder of the boys.”

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