Matlock storm to a comfortable victory

Matlock's James Cooper (with ball) bursts through a Loughborough challenge during his side's comprehensive victory at Cromford Meadows on Saturday.
Matlock's James Cooper (with ball) bursts through a Loughborough challenge during his side's comprehensive victory at Cromford Meadows on Saturday.

MATLOCK got revenge for defeat to Loughborough earlier in the season by comfortably overcoming their opponents at Cromford Meadows on Saturday.

Matlock 1st XV 40

Loughborough 1st XV 5

MATLOCK got revenge for defeat to Loughborough earlier in the season by comfortably overcoming their opponents at Cromford Meadows on Saturday.

Right from the kick-off Matlock made the better start and immediately took play into their opponents’ 22, and on five minutes they took the lead through a Chris Young penalty when Loughborough were penalised for going over the top at a ruck.

Both sides appeared a little rusty from the recent bad weather lay-off but the first quarter of the game was played almost entirely in the Loughborough half.

The next score eventually arrived on 26 minutes when from a third attempt at a five metre scrum, James Shooter picked up at the base and crashed over the line for Matlock’s first try. Young converted from out wide to make the score 10-0.

Matlock were straight back on the attack with Young extending the lead from another penalty with 28 minutes gone.

The next try soon followed. As the ball was moved sharply from a breakdown on the Loughborough 22, Henri Packard appeared in the line from the opposite wing, cut inside the defence and floated a pass to Dan Hooton on the outside to race in the corner and then round under the posts to touchdown. Young again added the extras.

The home side’s dominance was evident at this stage and solid defence quickly snuffed out Loughborough’s attacks.

On 35 minutes Loughborough made a rare foray into the Matlock half. The defence was up quickly and Tim Taylor made a brilliant turnover and quick ball was moved by James Young and Alex Powell to Chris Young who drew the winger and passed to Hooton on halfway to race away for his second try. Half time came with the score at 25-0.

The first ten minutes of the second-half began as expected with Loughborough trying to establish more control and attacking positions but Matlock were not letting up and on 54 minutes they crossed the line again.

Ben Neville took a great inside line and scythed through the defence before linking with Jack Wagg in close support to outpace the defence for a score in the corner.

Loughborough were then rewarded for their efforts and never-say-die attitude.

After a series of phases the Matlock defence became stretched and the winger had a simple run in to the corner making the score 30-5.

Despite several substitutions the scrums remained very strong and Matlock continued to press forward and the next try was the best of the bunch.

Neville made another great break, linked up with Packard who then passed inside to Hooton who drew the final defender before passing to Hartley to go over in the corner. The conversion attempt was unsuccessful.

Matlock were again totally dominant and the last scrum was a worrying event for a tired Loughborough side as their scrum went backwards at a frightening speed.

The ball was won and moved quickly though hands. Hooton made a half inside break and the ball was quickly recycled and moved wide for Neville to crash over in the corner for well earned try.

After the first error-strewn ten minutes this was an excellent display from fowards and backs alike with many stand-out individual performances, but the man-of-the-match award went to Dan Hooton for his all-round contribution.

Credit also goes to Lewis Richardson who earned his 1st XV tie with this game.

Next Saturday sees Matlock travel to play the rearranged fixture against local rivals and league toppers Derby, kick-off 2.15pm.

l The second XV also played at home against Dronfield 2s in the Derbyshire Second Team Cup semi-final.

Playing against a strong wind in the first-half, Matlock did well to turn round at half-time with the score at 0-0.

They then took advantage of having the elements behind them to score two converted tries and a penalty for a well earned 17-0 victory.

Tom Hooton scored both of Matlock’s tries, while Morton added a conversion and a penalty. Fairclough added the other conversion.