Matlock draw at unbeaten Southwell

Matlock earned themselves a 12-12 draw at unbeaten Southwell.

Tuesday, 9th November 2021, 2:44 pm
Jim O’Reilly powers forward with the ball.

Matlock once again had to shuffle the pack due to injuries and unavailability. Mark Packard, Luke Crofts, Ben Neville, Ben Poyser, James Young and George Whittaker were all missing from the previous week which gave the opportunity for some of the next generation of Blue boys to get their chance at first team rugby.

Callum Massey-Campbell and Kyle Smith were making their debuts and the other changes were Sam Ball and Harry Boyd coming back into the mix.

The game itself was a very close encounter from the first whistle. Southwell started very well and were quick to put some pressure onto the Matlock side.

John Statham looks to evade his man.

Some early physicality from James Harrod and Tom Cruttenden helped resist the pressure but it was Southwell who got the first points with a penalty in front of the posts.

This would become a common theme from the Matlock side, too many penalties throughout the game cost them position and possession which brought on a lot of self-inflicted pressure.

Matlock did bounce back though, some good running in the build up from Jim O’Reilly eventually led to the ever energetic Mike Emmerson crossing for Matlock’s first score of the day. Southwell kept working away and Matlock’s lack of discipline led to them taking a half-time lead of 9-5 having successfully kicked two more penalties.

Matlock started the second half with the stiff breeze behind them but also a man down with Tom Cruttenden picking up a cheap yellow card for a leading arm.

Simon and Tom Wright move the ball.

Matlock were getting some good possession in some very promising positions but were sloppy in the set piece and were struggling to maintain discipline.

They did however show some great character and fitness to get into the Southwell 22 and finally, Tom Cruttenden, back from the sin bin, battered his way over the line after some good sharp scrum half play from Mark Thornley.

James Fairclough converted for Matlock to take a 12-9 lead. But Southwell came back and took advantage of Matlock’s poor discipline to kick an easy penalty and keep their unbeaten run in tact.