Another instalment of the local rivalry between Matlock under 12s and Bakewell under 12s gave great enjoyment to coaches and spectators alike.
The kick-off delayed to allow a thaw on the pitch and then both sets of players threw themselves into a fine show of rugby.
Bakewell scored the first try though Matlock pushed themselves back into the game with prop Al Wilmot crashing over close to the line. The game see-sawed with try answered by try.
Bakewell’s backline had the better of the day, strong in attack with good interplay and support, swift to close down space in defence. This pressure surprised the Matlock backs and they were on the backfoot for most of the game, only occasionally managing to get the ball wide. When they did, Bakewell were equal to the task.
In the forward contest, Bakewell just edged it in setpieces, though it must be said 20 of the Matlock points were shared by second rower Joe Smithurst and prop Al Wilmot. Matlock’s other score came from a scrum five metres out, won by Bakewell but fumbled on their line and pounced upon by the tireless Lewis Burford, probably the most deserved try this season.
Bakewell’s tries were shared by Alex, Ben T., Rowan and Toby courtesy of the hard work by their entire team, including Jordan, Man of the Match.
Pressure eventually told and Bakewell breached the Matlock defence twice more than they conceded to win 35-25.
So local bragging rights to Bakewell , this time. 32 players gave a fantastic example of sport at its best, played at full pace and commitment but always in the right spirit of sport as displayed by the effervescent Alfie Bowman, loaned by Matlock to make Bakewell’s numbers up.
All in all, this was a great advert for Dales sport and rugby in particular from some very committed youngsters.