Matlock can’t hold on to half-time advantage

Nick Coombes aims to break through the Derby rearguard on Saturday. Photo by Colin Baker.
Nick Coombes aims to break through the Derby rearguard on Saturday. Photo by Colin Baker.

Matlock 17 Derby 32

Matlock put in a good display but ultimately didn’t have enough to overcome old rivals Derby on Saturday.

Fixtures between these old adversaries are usually tight affairs and despite the final score-line this match proved to be no exception.

Matlock’s starting line-up again saw several enforced changes but from the kick off the young and hugely outweighed Matlock pack took the game to the visitors.

It wasn’t long before the hosts took the lead as quick recycled ball in front of the posts following a drive forward ended with Dave Hartley slicing through to score, Tom Morton adding the extras.

A penalty put points on the board for Derby but Matlock soon extended their lead when good pace from Henri Packard put Luke Howard over in the corner and with the conversion missed, Matlock led 12-3.

However, a Matlock infringement gave Derby the opportunity for the first time to kick to the corner. The catch was clean and the forward drive strong bringing Derby’s first try, the conversion successful.

Despite the plan to deny them any more such opportunities another infringement soon presented the visitors with a similar chance and again they were successful giving them a 12-15 lead with half-time looming, but within moments Packard created another opening and put Howard in for his second unconverted try to give Matlock a 17-15 lead at the break.

The second-half was equally close but Derby would have the better of things, scoring first with a try and conversion.

Eventually Matlock began to tire, Luke Crofts sin-binned for a high challenge and the Derby pack going over for their fourth try.

With the game now lost, and only moments to go to the final whistle, the first piece of sloppy defending allowed the Derby number eight the final score of the match, 17-32 flattering the visitors and leaving the home-side ruing a couple of missed opportunities which could have seen the result reversed, but there was plenty of encouragement to be taken from the overall display.