Depleted Matlock showed the growing depth in their squad with this resounding 40-5 victory over Ashbourne.
With no fewer than 13 of the more experienced first team squad players unavailable, this was an excellent team performance
Man of the match was Chris Buckley who came in at the 11th hour and looked right at home, but James Harrod also caught the eye with some bone-crunching tackles.
With Ashbourne’s ground waterlogged, this fixture was switched to Cromford Meadows.
Early Matlock pressure told with only 10 minutes gone when Mike Allen picked a good line to crash over for the first score.
From the restart it was only a matter of time before the referee awarded a penalty kick in front of the posts. Fairclough duly obliged from the kicking tee to push the score on to 8-0.
From the restart Matlock were awarded a 5m attacking scrum.
Simon Wright offloaded to the supporting James Marsden who scampered over the line to score, Fairclough added the extras.
Mark Thornley took a knock to the ankle which allowed Chris Buckley to join the fray and it wasn’t long before he was also on the scoresheet.
Simon Wright again broke off from a scrum and fed James Marsden whose timely pass in turn put Chris Buckley in the corner. Again the kick fell short, but Matlock now had a useful 20-point cushion.
Matlock continued to keep Ashbourne under the cosh and on 38 minutes secured the bonus point try again as Mike Allen broke through a tired looking defence to touch down for his second try.
The half time whistle came with Matlock holding a strong and thoroughly deserved 25-0 lead.
After the break, Mike Allen waltzed through a rather abject defensive effort to score near the posts.
But a couple of unnecessary penalties in quick succession gave battle-weary Ashbourne a good attacking position which they made the best of to conjure up a score in the corner.
Matlock again took a stranglehold over the remainder of the game and created two more excellent team tries for Tom Lawrence and James Fairclough.