Muddy marvels Matlock played some of their best rugby for several seasons to pull off a tremendous 24-8 away win against fellow high-fliers Newark.
Such was the level of Matlock’s performance, which was a pleasure to watch, that they were applauded off the field at the end by both sets of supporters.
The win lifted them above Newark into third place in the National League, Midlands 2 East (North) table, and they are now relishing the prospect of anoher big match against second-placed Dronfield at Cromford Meadows this coming Saturday.
Straight from the kick-off, off Matlock tore into the opposition and soon found themselves in the Newark 22, from where Luke Howard showed fine pace to dive over in the corner for the game’s opening try.
Newark hit back with a penalty, but Matlock launched several counter-attacks and were unlucky not to extend their lead, which was 5-3 at half-time.
The second half continued in the same manner with Newark choosing to kick for position far too often and failing to find touch. Matlock were in confident mood and pressure told when they added further scores from Chris Young and Alex Powell.
The pick of the visitors’ tries, however, came from Chris Atkinson, who broke from the halfway line and rather than offload the ball to teammates on his outside, threw the biggest dummy and sidestep seen for many years to avoid a clobbering tackle from the Newark full-back before strolling over the line to shouts of approval and disbelief in equal measure. Tom Morton added the conversion.
Newark did respond very late on with a try of their own but by the end, they were well beaten and tiring. The longer the game went on, the more likely Matlock looked like scoring.
It was a total squad performance. Mike Allen was awesome in the back row was awesome, while full-back Powell didn’t put a foot wrong all game,
To cap a memorable afternoon, on the adjoining pitch, the second team also beat Newark to underline how much strength in depth there is at the club at the moment.