Hosts too strong for 10s holders

Matlock RFC''Winners of this year's Matlock 10s Rugby event,.
Matlock RFC''Winners of this year's Matlock 10s Rugby event,.

The fourth annual Matlock 10s tournament took place at Cromford Meadows on Saturday where spectators were provided with entertaining and exciting fast paced rugby throughout the day.

The teams taking part included two each from Matlock, Burton and the current cup holders Paviors from Nottingham.

Teams were also entered from Lincoln, Buxton, LPR Manchester, Bakewell Mannerians, Notts Medics, Durham Occasionals, Derby, BRM 10s, Team Rugger and Here On The Lash 10s, who despite the name were soon noted as serious contenders for the cup.

The pool stages began with convincing wins for Matlock A and Here On The Lash while Pirates (aka Paviors A) managed a close victory over a promising young Derby side and Mannerians, making a welcome first appearance at the tournament, pulled off a great victory over Burton’s A side.

Matlock A was awash with pace and, with the forwards supplying good, quick ball, the backs were able to cut loose, scoring some scintillating tries and through great defence conceded only one try in the pool stages.

Mannerians also won their group in style, posting the highest score of the day 73–5 against Matlock’s B side which, to be fair, was built more for comfort than speed, but stuck manfully to the task all day.

The other two group winners were Here On The Lash and Pirates. They were joined in the quarter-finals by BRM10s, Derby, Burton and Plunderers (aka Paviors B). The other teams went into the plate quarter-finals where Buxton beat Matlock B, Lincoln beat LPR Manchester, Burton B beat Durham and Medics had a narrow victory over Team Rugger, a side made up of mostly occasional players from Matlock.

In the main cup quarter-finals, there were narrow victories for Derby over Bakewell 19-12, Pirates over Burton A 17-7 and Here On The Lash over BRM 10s 12-10. Matlock’s quarter-final match saw them gain a comfortable victory over Plunderers by 46-0 with speedsters Powell, Packard, Neville, Cook and Buckley all getting on the scoresheet.

At the semi-final stage, the plate saw wins for Burton2 over Buxton and Medics over Lincoln. The main cup semi-finals saw Pirates defeat Here On The Lash and Matlock gain a close fought victory over Derby by 17-10 with tries from Packard, Neville and Buckley.

The plate final between Burton B and Medics was a close-fought affair. With scores tied at full-time, the game went into sudden death with Medics sealing the victory with a drop goal.

The scene was set for the final of the main competition, hosts Matlock A against holders Pirates.

Matlock played some sparkling rugby on their way to the final but had saved the champagne rugby for the final. From the kick-off Pirates were under pressure in both set and loose play and forced into making errors which Matlock were swift to punish. A shell-shocked Pirates found themselves 19-0 down by half-time and in the second half Matlock continued to dominate, finishing worthy winners by a score of 31-10, a great start for the new coaching setup.

The victory highlighted the importance of good skills, alongside pace, high fitness levels and great positive attitude from the whole squad.

The next two weeks will see the continued build-up to the new season with trips to Burton (August 13) and Camp Hill (August 20)