Team spirit key in Ilkeston win

MATLOCK RFC coach Alan Johnson believes his side’s early season blip in form is well behind them after securing a sixth straight win on Saturday.

A much changed Matlock side edged out leaders Ilkeston 30-29 in a closely fought contest, which saw them facing an uphill battle first half.

The slope on the pitch helped Ilkeston into a five-point lead at the break but Matlock took full advantage of the conditions in the second period as the completed the come back.

And Johnson said it was a great team effort: “They have only conceded 81 points in their first eight games so for us to score 30 points in one game was a great effort.

“We would have taken that at half time. They were expecting to run away with it but we could see they were starting to struggle and made them pay.

“The main thing was the team spirit. That’s what saw us through. We had five players who had played the week previous who were not playing.”

Matlock face Newark at home on Saturday in a Vice President’s fixture (K.O. 2.15).

- Turn to page 28 for the full match report of Matlock’s visit to Ilkeston.