The promising start to the new season by Matlock continued with a terrific 32-13 win over Lincoln in their first home match in the Midlands 2 East (North) division of the National League.
After a solid performance in the cup the previous week, Matlock were raring to go, and they didn’t disappoint, making it two from two in the league and shooting to the top of the table.
Things didn’t quite go to plan to begin with as a strong Lincoln team broke the deadlock thanks to the hosts’ indiscipline and they soon doubled their lead to 6-0 despite picking up their first yellow card for a late tackle.
A second yellow followed, ten minutes before the break, and with two players in the sin-bin, the tables started to turn. Relentless pressure from Matlock caught Lincoln on the back foot, causing them to make mistakes, and from a penalty scrum, the ball fizzed out to Harry Morton, who ran a strong line before offloading to Tom Cruttenden, who bundled over to score under the posts. Tom Morton was given the easy task of converting in front of the sticks to make the score 7-6.
It didn’t take long for Lincoln to receive yet another yellow for a high tackle. This penalty was within kicking range for Tom Morton, who added the extra points, and as the first half drew to a close, the fourth and final yellow card was given to the Lincoln second row.
Matlock started the second period with confidence, again camping in the visitors’ half. Their patience finally paid off when the ball came out of the scrum and passed across the backline before finding its way to the wing where George Whittaker advanced to score in the corner and increase the lead to 15-6.
Lincoln finally managed to have 15 men back on the pitch, but this didn’t seem to affect Matlock, who went further ahead when Tom Morton kicked another three points and then replacement Marcus Bolam set up an easy try for Dan Hooton, making the score 25-6.
The visitors responded to Matlock’s continuous pressure when their winger found space between the centres and, with a clear run through to the line, scored a
But Matlock were determined to have the final say and, with the last play of the game, the forwards trundled towards the Lincoln 22. Good link-up play broke the gain line and led to Harry Morton scoring his second try, which earned his side a bonus point. It was a fitting end to an action-packed game that yielded strong performances all over the park.
This Saturday, Matlock are on their travels in another league match, this time against Loughborough, who have lost both of their opening matches (kick-off 3 pm).