Club History

By Arwyn Morgan - August 29 2007
Untitled Document

The club is based at the Oxcroft Miners Welfare Club, Stanfree and was formed in November 2001 after over twenty players left Chesterfield RFC due to rugby differences. After an initial meeting at the New Inn public house Hasland on a cold November night, it was decided to amalgamate with Bolsover RFC. It was unanimously decided that the new side was to be called North Derbyshire RUFC, and to promote rugby in the north of the county.

The first season was a struggle with only fourteen players turning up for the first game against Mansfield 3rds. This was followed with a big win against Danum Phoenix 3rds by over 50 points. The club was on its way.

During the first part of the season, all the games were played away from home due to the unavailability of a home pitch. It is to the sidesí credit that never once was a fixture forfeited. Out of these games, the club only lost four games and they were against teams from a higher standard. Due to all the hard work put in to keep the team afloat, for the last game of the season against touring Gateshead, a total of thirty-two players turned up. It was decided to play a 1st and 2nd XV fixture against the tourists, the 1st XV winning and the 2nd XV losing narrowly.

Afterwards, it was decided to try and enter into the Midlands league structure for the forthcoming season. Unfortunately, we met with a lot of resistance from local clubs and a lot of hard work was done to get the ground in order, obtain sponsorship and new kit.

The team was finally admitted into the 2002-03 NLD West 2 league thanks to all the support received from our NLD representative Martyn Thomas, who supported the club in its pursuit of league status. His support is something that the club will never forget. North Derbyshire also entered the 2nd XV into the Pennant league. In itís first ever season of league rugby, the club finished third and were unlucky not to be promoted. The 2nd xv fulfilled 75% of their fixtures finishing 4th in the Pennant league which was a huge achievement.

The 2003-04 season saw a heavy influx of players to the N. Derbyshire ranks following efforts to persaude players who lived in the locality and were known to be playing rugby at a higher level to join the club. This season saw them promoted to NLD 1 following an unbeaten season in the league and also saw them take the NLD Vase and Derbyshire Shield titles. The team also enjoyed unprescidented success in the seven a side version of the game.

The 2004-05 season further additions were made to the squad off the back of the previous seasons' success. North Derbyshire romped to the NLD 1 League title, only losing twice along the way. The 2nd team also finished second in their Pennant League, and a Development XV began to play its first matches. The season also saw the club win the NLD Shield and also the club was runners up in both the Derbyshire Senior and 2nd Team Cups.

The 2005-06 season sees the club enter the Midlands league structure for the first time and due to the increase travel, saw The Panthers lose players. The club though narrowly lost out on promotion to Midlands 3 East. There was an internal wrangle within the club at the tail end of the year on the way forward. Several players left, other retired and the club has had to re build. The 2006-07 season was a hard season for the club with the 1st team getting relagated back to NLD1. Their cause was not helped by other clubs in the area poaching their players. The 2007-08 season has seen several players return to the club and the future is already looking more promising.