Matlock march on to book cup final date after beating old foes

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Matlock RFC booked a Derbyshire Cup final spot after a 45-29 victory over old foes Derby.

Saturday’s semi-final at a sunny Cromford Meadows saw Matlock transfer their league form into the cup competition.

As the teams ran out onto the pitch there was a stiff breeze blowing across the pitch towards the clubhouse side.

Derby were temporarily down to 14 men seconds from the start when the visitors full back was yellow carded for a tackle in the air.

The deadlock was soon broken when Chris Atkinson forced his way over and Tom Morton, whose kick started the move, added the extras.

Derby responded almost immediately when a defensive mix up allowed the Derby centre an easy run in under the posts. The kick added and it was level at 7-7.

Matlock hit back on 15 minutes when James Fairclough made a 40-yard dash for the line to finish off a well-worked team move. Morton converting for 14-7.

Tom Cruttenden was given 10 minutes in the sin bin for a high tackle, then Dan Hooton was shown a yellow for knocking on an attempted interception.

Derby took full advantage of the depleted home side numbers to score their second try but the conversion was missed. Matlock dug in and regained control when back to full quota.

Matlock went over again when Curtis Bolam found space to crash over for a crucial score. Tom Morton converted for 21-12. But back came Derby to make it 21-17 before half time.

The coach’s words were heralded minutes into the second as Bolam got a second try and within minutes they had scored again through Fairclough.

A Conor Loughnane try and a Morton kick made it 38-17 to Matlock. Derby replied once more, refusing to roll over. Dave Hartley added another for Matlock and with Morton converting the game looked beyond Derby, who got a late consolation.