Matlock got back to winning ways with a fine 34-12 victory at West Bridgford on Saturday, making amends for the previous week’s abject display at Market Bosworth.
Early exchanges were somewhat scrappy with neither side seeming able to hold onto the ball in contact. A Matlock penalty attempt was pulled wide which seemed to set the tone for the days place kicking on a greasy surface.
Matlock’s defensive line was asserting its authority and applying constant pressure on the home side and the first score eventually came following a neat chip through by Tom Morton. The Bridgford wing and full-back failed to tidy up the loose ball and Tris Kawalek pounced to scoop it up and race over for a try. The conversion attempt was wide.
This seemed to settle the visitors and after Morton kicked to the corner, the catch and drive was good and on the second phase Lewis Richardson powered over for the second try. Again the conversion attempt was wide.
With half an hour gone Matlock crossed for their third try as a Matlock scrum saw Tom Wright pick up and feed Dave Hartley cutting back on a good angle to scythe through and score under the sticks. Morton added the extras for a 17-0 lead.
Matlock completed the half with two excellent tries.
The first came from a scrum on half way as the ball was moved quickly to Jack Ritchie who made a fine half break before feeding Hartley who then found George Whittaker on his shoulder. He stepped inside the first defender then outpaced the rest of the defence to score under the posts. Again Morton added the extras.
The home side were then penalised at a scrum on their own ten metre line for illegal binding, and the Bridgford scrum-half then retreated with the ball and the referee moved the penalty a further ten metres.
Morton tapped the ball and fed Richardson who burst through the first tackle to within metres of the line and when stopped popped the ball to Dan Hooton in close support. Hooton went to ground inches short and the ball was passed to Matt Goodall who used his strength to force his way over for the score. The conversion attempt was wide and the half time whistle saw Matlock 29-0 ahead.
Twelve minutes into the second- half Matlock extended their lead to 34-0 with another unconverted try, Tom Wright crossing after some more good work by the pack.
Matlock then appeared to relax a little and two yellow cards were followed by two West Bridgford tries, one of them converted, to leave the final score at 34-12.
With Coalville’s game at Ashbourne postponed this victory sees Matlock with a fragile three point lead at the top of the table.
This weekend sees Matlock taking a break from the league and entertaining Notts Moderns in the NLD Shield at Cromford Meadows with the likely kick off time of 2pm (TBC).