Steve Rhodes believes Worcestershire batting heroes Ed Barnard and Joe Clarke reaped the benefits of their experiences with the England Under-19 side as they helped the County earn an honourable draw with Derbyshire at the 3aaa County Ground.

Nightwatchman Barnard and Clarke joined forces in the first over of the day in the Specsavers County Championship clash with Worcestershire 24-2 after following on 303 behind.

But the young duo defied the Derbyshire attack for almost 44 overs in adding 146 with Barnard scoring a career best 73 and Clarke 63.

Then further strong resistance from Tom Kohler-Cadmore (48) and Alexei Kervezee (41) ensured Worcestershire claimed the five points available for a draw as they closed on 294-6.

Director of cricket Rhodes said: "We worked hard and the two 20-year-old lads Barney (Ed Barnard) and Clarkey (Joe Clarke) put in a really good partnership in the early part of the day which was very, very crucial.

"The good thing about them is they've come through that under-19 system, something I'm very in favour of.

"I think it's a great opportunity for youngsters to represent their country and both have done that for a period of time.

"I personally think it gives them a really good grounding for when they have situations like today which was a real fighting situation in first-class cricket at a very young age so I think that's a big tick for the England Under-19's."

Barnard has been batting at number nine for much of the campaign but Rhodes has always recognised his talent.

He said: "Ed is a genuine all-rounder. He's batted six for our first team in a previous game, he's always been in the top six in England Under-19 cricket and the position of where he bats for me isn't important. It's the amount of runs he gets."

Derby captain Billy Godleman said: "I'm really proud. Other than the first couple of hours on the opening day it was a very flat and slow wicket so for us to have taken 16 wickets having made them follow-on and bowled 120 overs plus on the trot is an exceptional effort.

"It was always going to be difficult as the overs got in our legs but I thought Will Davis's hostile spell over and around the wicket short and at the body gave us an opportunity to still win the game from tea-time onwards.

"I think we exhausted every option in the last couple of hours but it was a really good all-round team effort led by a senior pro Tony Palladino with three young seamers.

"We've played a lot of four day cricket this year where we've been either fighting to stay in the game or losing the game so to be playing on the last day and to be in charge and dominating definitely gives us a lot of confidence going into the game against Kent."