Matlock cling on against a defiant Newark outfit

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Matlock overcame the disappointment of last week’s defeat with a 36-33 victory over Newark in an energy-sapping match on Saturday.

Matlock’s squad were looking to pick themselves up, raise the intensity levels and put in a solid performance - and they did exactly that against a strong Newark outfit.

There were changes to the backline but Matlock made the perfect start with a score in under two minutes; from a scrum which resulted from the kick-off. From the scrum Harry Morton and Chris Atkinson crashed up. Tom Morton picked up and dummied his way through for an early score. Morton converted his own try 7-0.

Matlock were soon back on the offensive as Newark struggled to get a foothold in the game such was the early intensity of the home side both in attack and defence.

A Matlock lineout on the Newark 10-metre line saw Tom Cruttenden break away with the ball to feed Curtis Bolam who then passed to Simon Wright who returned the favour to send Bolam over for a great try.

Matlock were in ruthless mood and when another Cruttenden break was followed by a strong carry by Harry Morton an under pressure Newark defence offended at the breakdown. Seizing the opportunity Tom Morton took a quick tap and dummied his way through for a second try.

Matlock’s first half dominance continued and following another Newark transgression on half way Tom Morton nudged a fine kick to the Newark 22 metre line. A clean catch by the impressive Mike Emmerson followed by a strong maul saw the visitors driven back all the way to their own try line for Chris Atkinson to touch down.

A series of pick and drives followed for the next score before the ball was passed via Lewis Burford to Curtis Bolam who showed great vision and skill to fizz a long pass to George Whittaker out wide for an easy run in to the corner for a very comfortable 29-0 lead.

Newark found their way back into the game and they were continually rewarded for their ‘never say die’ attitude. George Whittaker finished off a well-worked move in reply for Matlock and Lewis Burford coolly slotted the conversion.

It proved crucial as an injury-hit Matlock clung on for a narrow win.