- NLD clinch win with fightback
- Leicestershire overcome stubborn Essex
Notts, Lincs & Derbyshire staged a stirring fightback to open their County Championship Shield campaign with a 28-20 win over Staffordshire at Longton.
NLD were 13-0 points adrift at half-time and 20-7 down on the hour but three converted tries in the last 20 minutes saw them home.
Derby lock Dan Sanderson scored two tries for NLD with his club-mate, centre Mikey Robinson and replacement scrum-half Dan Hooton (Matlock) also crossing.
All four tries were converted by Bakewell fly-half Ed Hutchinson.
Brothers Dan and Ben Robson, the half-back pair from Longton and sons of former England B scrum-half Simon, both got on the scoresheet.
Fly-half Dan kicked a first half penalty and scrum-half Ben scored Staffordshire’s third try.
Skipper and hooker Craig Wilson (Longton) scored the opening try and full-back Gary McDermott of Leek the second with Chris Buck of Longton improving Ben Robson’s try.
Leicestershire withstood brave resistance from Essex to record a 43-19 win at Market Harborough.
Leicestershire were 24-0 at one stage but Essex reduced their lead to ten points with two converted tries either side of half-time.
Hinckley number eight Ben Ashfield was the star of the show for Leicestershire with a hat-trick of tries, two of them in the first half.
Flanker Adam Davey and centre Ian Smith, both Syston, also scored tries before the break with fly-half Mark Lord of South Leicester landing two conversions.
Lord crossed himself in the second half after Ashfield had completed his hat-trick and Hinckley full-back AJ Smith completed the Leicestershire scoring.
East Midlands crashed 54-15 to a powerful Oxfordshire in Pool 2 at Northampton Casuals.
Wellingborough fly-half Pete Vickers gave East Midlands an early lead with a penalty but Oxfordshire ran in eight tries, four in each half.
East Midlands rallied briefly with Northampton Old Scouts lock Tom Poole and Bedford Athletic full-back Paul Ryder scoring second half tries with Vickers adding a conversion.