A convincing win in the Derbyshire Cup left newly-promoted Matlock looking in good heart for their tough season ahead back in the Midlands 1 East League.
The tie at home to Ashbourne was Matlock’s last match before the start of the league campaign away to Market Rasen and Louth this Saturday (kick-off 3 pm). And they romped home 52-7 after an excellent performance, with the pack, in particular, performing admirably.
The squad are under no illusions about the task in front of them, but the signs are encouraging, especially as several familiar faces were missing for the Ashbourne clash.
Matlock threatened from the off, playing some attractive rugby, and opened the scoring after only five minutes when Ben Neville finished a terrific move. Hesitant decision-making resulted in a ten-minute scoreless period before Neville touched down for his second try. And although the visitors hit back to reduce the deficit to 12-7, Matlock had added seven more points by the interval, courtesy of another score from hat-trick hero Neville.
The home team dominated the second period, applying continuous pressure on the Ashbourne defence, with man-of-the-match Luke Howard having a hand in three more tries.