Bonus-point victory as Matlock return to form

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Following a below par performance the previous week, Matlock went into the Midlands 2 East (North) 46-5 victory against Southwell knowing they needed to start with greater intensity in both attack and defence.

They began brightly with good ball retention and an urgency that had been missing the previous week.

After five minutes good pressure on the Southwell line and a series of pick and drives saw Charlie Jackson drive over for a score out wide. Southwell were met by a determined defence with Jackson and Phil Braund both putting in high tackle counts.

A dropped Southwell pass was fly-hacked by a Matlock player and Tom Morton and Luke Howard were quickest to react, with Morton hacking the ball on again for Howard to win the race to pick up and dive over for a score in the corner to make it 10-0.

As Matlock continued to dominate, Harry Morton picked a good line and broke through to find James Young in support. Young was pulled down just short of the line but Dan Hooton was in close support to go over for Matlock’s third try.

Matlock were growing in confidence and on 35 minutes Harry Boyd scythed through the defence and side-stepped past the full back to score under the posts. Tom Morton kicked the conversion to stretch the advantage to 22 points.

After half-time a driving maul took Matlock close to the Southwell line and from a series of pick and drives Chris Atkinson drove over.

The home side’s next score came after a period of concerted pressure on the Southwell line. Eventually the ball was moved wide to Harry Boyd, who again showed great footwork to side-step his way over for his second try. Morton added the conversion.

Southwell replied with a try, but Matlock reacted positively and following a good box kick and chase Morton picked up and stretched for the line to make it 39-5.

Matlock’s final try was created from 40 yards out. Dan Hooton broke and drew the defender before passing to Mike Emmerson, racing up the wing. Emmerson returned the favour, passing back inside for Hooton to run in for his second try.