Matlock ease past Loughborough to record fifth straight victory

Elliott Boan
Elliott Boan

Loughborough 9

Matlock 53

Adam Twyford produced a man of the match performance to help Matlock close the gap on the top sides in Midlands East Division One.

Matlock remain fifth in the league after easing past a struggling Loughborough side to move within four points of joint-leaders Peterborough Lions.

Alan Johnson’s men arrived at Loughborough in confident mood. Matlock were able to field an almost unchanged side from the previous run out the only enforced change being Cooper back at No8 for the unavailable Shooter and Wagg coming in on the flank. Dan Hooton made a welcome return after injury joining Statham and Glover on the bench.

For the first half hour Matlock struggled to find any sort of rhythm and spent long periods pinned in their own half. In contrast the home side made a spirited start and found themselves with a deserved lead of 9-3 through three well taken penalty kicks with Young replying with one for Matlock.

Eventually Matlock’s pack began to get the upper hand and Young began to find his touch with the boot to put them in the right parts of the field. Richardson crashed over after 30 minutes though Young was narrowly wide with the conversion attempt.

The visitors continued to press and another strong passage of pick and drive play led to a scrum that saw Cooper force his way over the line. Young added the extras to give Matlock a 15-9 lead at the break.

A half time change saw Hooton come on in the centre and Hartley move to flyhalf replacing the injured James Young.

The second half began with Matlock now having the advantage of the wind and the slope and they were soon camped in the opposition 22.

It wasn’t long before the line was crossed again when a backs move saw Whittaker come in off the wing to glide through the gap untouched to score under the posts. Young again added and the bonus point try followed soon after through Taylor.

Whittaker was soon on the score sheet again before Packard recorded three further tries. Young created space for Packard to race away again and some fine support play involving Hartley and Young eventually saw Young touch down in the corner for the final score of the match.