Derbyshire Boil and Toil

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The shadows still not lengthening,
The sun still beating down,
And Derbyshire are toiling on,
At the 3aaa County Ground.

Ned Eckersley is in for ten,
Billy Godleman the ball,
The hosts are watching runs build up,
Not threatening at all.

So eighty overs come and go,
A brand new cherry brought.
Bright red leather, golden text,
The power of the thought.

It has to take some wickets now,
It cannot go for runs,
But Cosgrove’s giving nothing back,
And building to his ton.

He gets there with a boundary,
The new ball works a treat,
As Leicestershire start feasting on,
A Derbyshire dead on their feet.

You want to play in sunshine,
But sunny days are tough,
When Cosgrove’s in a gorgeous nick,
And you’re running out of puff.

It’s his show now, the boundaries come,
A four, another four,
The new ball isn’t stopping them,
Just adding to the score.

That Morison Moment. 

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And at the resumption,
It fizzles and cracks,
With passing and build up,
And counter attacks.

From Marshall, from Morison,
As both sides have a go,
Bradford look natural,
But Millwall gung-ho.

His side might look better,
In control of the ball,
But the match put ten years,
Onto Stuart McCall.

A chance for Jed Wallace,
Lee Gregory creates,
He scuffs it wide left,
And the hope dissipates.

And as it progresses,
It feels Millwall are growing,
They are finding their forwards,
Steve Morison showing.

And Bradford are fouling,
And Bradford look pained,
So they look to the bench,
And they try to force change.

Millwall did their thing,
Brought Ferguson on,
He took on set pieces
While Bradford went long.

And corners for Millwall,
And corners again,
It’s closer, it feels,
Not just if, but more when.

Bradford look flatter,
And struggle to play,
As if even they think,
It will be Millwall’s day.

Then it is! Then it’s Morison,
Stabbing it in,
A roar for supporters,
A mile wide grin

Suddenly sparking
And its backs to the wall,
Eleven striped bodies,
In the way of the ball.

There’s a chance at the death,
But McMahon smashes wide,
Millwall victorious,
And Bradford denied.

45 Minutes… Away

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The Lions roar early,
And pressure the box,
They earn a few corners,
But struggle for shots.

The Bantam spirit livens,
With a rapid, rapier move,
Marshall threads in Billy Clarke,
It’s slick, it’s smart, it’s smooth.

But when Clarke pulls the trigger,
Jordan Archer stretches out,
And fingertips the effort wide,
When the shot was in – no doubt.

The effort steels the Yorkshire side,
With visible belief,
Marshall and Clarke dominate,
While Millwall seek relief.

McMahon and McArdle then combine,
For a header with little threat,
Bradford keep pressing as Millwall drop back,
But there’s no more real danger as yet.

Marshall a string-puller,
Meredith, too,
Millwall just absorbing,
But able to do.

The Millwall set pieces,
More effective than play,
They forge some half-chances,
But find men in the way.