Back to earth with a bump

Mike Brookes, Matlock RFC
Mike Brookes, Matlock RFC

Matlock RFC 22

Newark 34

after last week’s emphatic win, Matlock came back down to earth with a bump, losing against a struggling Newark side staring at almost certain relegation to Midlands Two.

With the Young brothers both rested with niggling injuries and Powell unavailable, the Matlock backline was reshuffled. Morton started at scrum half, Hartley moved to stand-off, Coombes filled in at inside centre and Rich Taylor on the wing.

As the match unfolded it was clear the sum of these changes, together with some complacency and questionable decision making, was a recipe for a frustrating day.

Within minutes of the start, Newark had a player yellow carded for bringing down a maul and Matlock scored their first try through Brookes. Tim Taylor touched down for a second try soon after.

Morton added the extras and Matlock were 12-0 ahead.

Newark responded well with two penalties, followed by a converted try and two further penalties to lead 19-12 at half-time.

The second half began with Matlock again looking stronger. The highlight was when Dan Hooton collected the ball, pinned his ears back and left the Newark number eight on his backside. The sides swapped penalties and then Matlock scored the best try of the match. Hartley engineered a superb miss pass to Dan Hooton, who sliced through the Newark backline and raced half the pitch before feeding Rich Taylor.

From the resulting ruck, Matlock shipped the ball to Buckley who picked a great line to slice through under the posts. Morton added the extras and the scores were level.

But Newark worked their way back into the Matlock half. An attempted clearance was charged down and Newark crossed for a converted try near the posts.

With barely a minute to go, Newark pounced on the loose ball and kicked long upfield where a very cruel bounce gifted Newark a score in the corner and the game was over.

This week, Matlock travel to league winners Syston.

Kick off is 3pm