Matlock welcomed their old friends and rivals Bakewell Mannerians to Cromford Meadows for an eagerly-awaited local derby on Saturday and ran out 37-5 winners.
Matlock’s team sheet saw a few changes from the previous week but from the kick off they played with an energy and intensity that prevented the visitors from settling into the game.
In trying to slow down the home side ball Bakewell were penalised and Tom Morton stepped up to convert an early opportunity for 3-0.
Having been shown suspect under the high ball Bakewell’s right wing was then tested again by Morton’s box kick. The winger misjudged the kick and the loose ball was gathered by Luke Howard who still had some work to do to score the first try. Morton’s conversion attempt was wide.
From the re-start Matlock began again on the front foot and Morton soon found Fairclough who picked a good line to make the half break and touch down for a good try. The conversion attempt was again wide and the score remained 13-0.
On 30 minutes Matlock went further ahead with another unconverted try as Simon Wright went over in the corner, then just before half-time, Josh Dixey gathered a kick and ran the ball back at pace, cutting between two defenders before passing to Alex Powell in support who then drew his man before feeding Howard to finish off the move with his second try. Morton added the extras to make it 25-0.
Bakewell improved in the second-half and spent longer periods in the Matlock half. Tom Bell came close on two occasions from kick and chase opportunities but Matlock’s cover defence was sharp enough to deny him.
Matlock’s Wright was yellow carded for a high tackle and Bakewell made use of the numerical advantage to force a score in the corner after several pick and drive attempts had been repelled. The conversion was wide but the lead reduced to 25-5.
Moments later Matlock went down to 13 men when Conor Loughnane was also sent to the sin bin for not rolling away at the ruck, then Bakewell’s Ben Wade went a similar way due to a punch.
Matlock extended the lead when a Bakewell kick out wide only found Howard who gratefully gathered the ball for a free run into the corner for his third try. The conversion attempt was wide.
Matlock saved the best for the last. From a lineout on the Bakewell 22 a perfectly executed training ground move saw Powell scythe through the Bakewell defence before drawing the last man and passing to Howard, in close support, to race under the posts for his fourth try of the day. Morton added the extras and the referee blew the full time whistle