Classy Matlock breeze past Dronfield with impressive all-round team display

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Matlock claimed a convincing 41-7 win over Dronfield after an impressive all-round team display.

Following on the back of two excellent performances Matlock were hoping to continue their recent good form into this game against a well drilled side who currently sit in second place and who were playing Midlands 1 rugby last season.

From the kick off the early exchanges were fairly even with both sides testing each other’s defences.

And it was the visitors who were first on the scoreboard with a converted try following an uncharacteristic defensive error at a midfield ruck saw them on the front foot to take full advantage for a 7-0 lead.

Matlock’s response was almost immediate and having made good ground through clever box kicks, superb handling and support play they were soon camped near the Dronfield line.

The visitors repelled some pick and drives before Morton’s reverse pass found Curtis Bolam who took a great line to cross for the try.

Morton added the extras and scores were level again at 7-7.

And, from this point, Matlock’s play belied the difficult conditions as backs and forwards combined superbly.

Ball retention was superb as was the work rate of this Matlock side as they gave a masterclass of how to play rugby in the greasy conditions.

With the home side now dominating both possession and territory they gradually took the game away from the visitors scoring three further tries before half time. First Luke Howard crossed after Matlock’s driving maul had taken them deep into the visitor’s half.

This was followed by a score from the home side’s battering ram, Tom Cruttenden as he drove over from close range following yet another period of pressure on the visitor’s line.

The final score of the half came after a well worked three quarter move created space for Harry Boyd to show the opposition a clean pair of heels to score out wide on the stroke of half-time.

The second half played out in similar fashion with Matlock continuing to control the pace of the game, playing with patience and accuracy throughout with the visitor’s spending long period’s in defensive mode.

On 55 minutes Matlock increased their lead with a score from Cruttenden, who once again showed tremendous power from close range to crash over near the posts.

Simon Wright was next to cross the white wash when he quickly reacted to aloose ball before darting over the line to touch down. Morton’s conversion attempt was wide to leave the score 36-7.

With the final whistle imminent Matlock had a scrum just inside the visitor’s half. The supporters and some of the players were expecting the ball to be kicked off the park but when the scrum slightly wheeled towards the blind side, James Young, now at scrum half, needed no invitation.

Hhe picked up and burst away up the blind side, a superb chip and regather over the approaching defender saw him take play into the Dronfield 22.

The visitor’s scrambling defence were caught in disarray as two passes later James Fairclough picked a good line to dive over near the corner.

Chris Atkinson’s conversion attempt was short and the final whistle blew to wrap up a great display.

Matlock will be looking to continue this current form next week when Notts Casuals are next to visit Cromford Meadows, kick off 2.15pm.

Team: Wright T, Bolam C, Stokes T, Atkinson C, Emmerson M, Cruttenden T, Cookman R, Wright S, Morton T, Young J, Howard L, Morton H, Hooton D, Boyd H, Powell A

Bench: Jackson C, Harrod J, Fairclough J