RFU Intermediate Cup
Matlock 25 Stafford 10
Matlock marked their first appearance in the RFU Intermediate Cup for several years with victory over Stafford at Cromford Meadows on Saturday.
With their opponents having had a difficult start to the season a confident Matlock took the opportunity to rest a few players and explore the depth of the squad.
Matlock started slowly and an early transgression saw Stafford gifted a simple penalty attempt to take the lead.
The hosts were looking a little complacent and their play for once lacked composure, continuity and intensity.
Eventually though green shoots of some exciting rugby began to emerge. George Whittaker made a scything break from inside his own half, the ball was recycled and fed through hands to Chris Buckley who raced down the wing and stepped past the last defender and touched down under the posts, Whittaker adding the extras.
The second score soon followed after a fine break by Simon Wright put the visitors on the back foot. Play was taken to within ten metres of the Stafford line and Matt Goodall powered his way over. Whittaker again added the extras for a 14-3 half-time lead.
The second-half saw Nick Coombes come off the bench and Tom Hooton replaced Buckley on the wing, but all Matlock had to show for their dominance of the third quarter were two Whittaker penalties.
Eventually the crowd was treated to the best passage of rugby for the day when the ball was worked from half way through several phases. Coombes made a strong carry and when he was eventually stopped Hooton took it on and used the his full reach to touch down.
Matlock then took the foot off the pedal and Stafford took advantage and a quick tap saw the scrum half burrow over for a converted try as a last minute consolation.
Matlock can now look forward to this weekend’s home league game versus West Bridgford, kick-off 3pm.