Ruthless Matlock bounce back in 12-try win

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Matlock bounced back from a disappointing draw at Ashbourne with a resounding 74-0 victory over Spalding.

The squad saw a couple of changes. James Young started at scrumhalf with Tom Morton switching to the bench. Tom Wright moved to the front row and Rory Cookman came onto the bench alongside Morton and Tom Stokes.

From the kick off Matlock looked very sharp with ball in hand and following a couple of missed early opportunities they scored the first of 12 team tries on ten minutes when captain Tim Taylor scored in the corner off a rehearsed line out move.

With the visitors having a difficult season and sitting adrift at the bottom of the league Matlock made the most of the space created by quick ball at the breakdown and their inter-passing between forwards and backs exposed the weaknesses in the visitors defence.

The finishing, however, could have been better.

James Fairclough was next to go over for Matlock which kick-started something of a try fest as four minutes later Fairclough went over for his second following a good counter led by Alex Powell. Fairclough added the extras 17-0.

Further tries were added by Luke Howard and Fairclough again, completing his hat-trick, before the half-time whistle came, with Matlock leading 31-0.

The second half kicked off and there was no respite for the visitors with Howard scoring two quick tries in a matter of minutes taking the score to 45-0. The situation got worse were the visitors with a yellow card.

A Spalding error at the scrum led to Tom Cruttenden powering over near the posts for a converted try 52-0. Matlock continued to play some entertaining rugby and created a fine score which began in their own 22.

Powell, Mike Allen, Rory Cookman and John Statham were all involved before Howard crossed the line for his fourth try of the match. The interchanges from the bench were used wisely with Tom Stokes having a good run out after his debut last week lasted just 60 seconds.

Matlock continued to show little mercy and scored further tries through Fairclough, Ben Neville and Tom Morton with the latter coming from a driving maul. Final score 74-0.

Team: Wright T, Jackson C, Staham A, Atkinson C, Taylor T, Cruttenden T, Willingham-Statham J, Wright S, Young J, Fairclough J, Howard, L, Neville B, Hooton D, Allen M, Powell A. Bench: Stokes T, Cookman R, Morton T.