Matlock return from Lincoln with the points

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Matlock RFC travelled to Lincoln for the first time at first team level since the 2003/04 season and came away with a deserved victory, winning 16-3.

On a good surface Matlock kicked off playing into a stiff breeze blowing straight down the pitch. Unsurprisingly, given the elements being in their favour, the home side dominated possession and territory during the first half.

However, they only really threatened to score on one occasion where a series of penalties led to them camping in the Matlock 22 for a large portion of the opening 20 minutes and ultimately being held up over the line.

The away side demonstrated excellent defence led by the back row of S. Wright, Cruttendon and the outstanding Jackson whereby Matlock repelled a series of one out runners. There were mistakes from both sides in the half.

The most promising for the away side was a rolling maul which was well defended by the home pack when it seemed a score was inevitable. The game remained scoreless for 35 minutes before the teams traded penalties within a couple of minutes of each other. When the half time whistle blew Matlock probably went in to the break the happier side, with Lincoln regretting not making more of the wind. One downside for the visitors was the loss of Tom Stokes at tighthead who seemed to have his opposite number in trouble.

Playing with the elements in the second half Matlock took control of the game through scores from Cruttenden and Wright after 52 and 65 minutes. Both scores coming in the same corner from some close quarter pick and goes.

Sandwiched between the two tries Morton, on for the excellent Young kicked a penalty. Lincoln did have their moments and their powerful one out runners tried to punch holes but too often when they created space vital passes and good cover defence from the visiting backs snuffed out any real opportunities.

Team: Wright T, Bolam C, Stokes T, Atkinson C, Emmerson M, Cruttenden T, Jackson C, Wright S, Young J, Fairclough J, Howard L, Morton H, Hooton D, Allen M, Powell A. Bench: Loughnane C, Morton T, Hartley D.