Matlock see off Loughborough threat to claim another victory

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Matlock travelled to Loughborough with renewed confidence on the back of a resounding win the previous week, and returned with a 29-8 victory.

Matlock failed to control the ball from the kick-off thereby putting themselves under unnecessary early pressure. Loughborough made the most of the opportunity to play on the front foot and despite some solid Matlock defence they made the most of the early territory to earn a score in the corner on five minutes for a 5-0 lead.

Matlock reacted well and, on 14 minutes, created a fine score after good work first by Young and then Fairclough the ball was recycled and moved through hands to Atkinson who dummied and broke through the defence to race over the line for a fine try. Fairclough added the extras 7-5.

On 19 minutes Matlock increased their lead with a fine team try. From a scrum just inside the Matlock half, Wright broke blind feeding Young who made good ground before passing to Mike Allen who charged down the wing before being brought down inside the Loughborough 22.

At the ruck, John Statham picked up and was stopped five metres out. Young picked up from the base and made dash to the blind before popping a superb reverse pass to Simon Wright to crash over. The conversion attempt was wide 12-5.

Loughborough regrouped and got a reward on 35 minutes with three points from a penalty 25 yards when Matlock were guilty of being offside at a ruck.

With half-time approaching Matlock added to their tally. John Statham crashed over for a good score. The conversion effort was wide but Matlock went into half-time with a valuable 17-8 lead.

Matlock soaked up long periods of pressure in the second half and on 60 minutes capitalised on a rare visit into the Loughborough 22 they upped the anti, playing through several phases before Fairclough scythed through the defence to touch down. Fairclough added the extras 24-8.

This was soon followed by the final score as Dave Ball crashed over for a well-earned bonus try making the score 29-8.

Once again Loughborough threw everything they had at Matlock but the visitors proved that size isn’t everything as they successfully repelled each attack. On 70 minutes Matlock lost Charlie Jackson to the sin bin but still managed to prevent the home side from crossing the line. Matlock remain sixth.

MATLOCK: Ball D, Jackson C, Statham A, Taylor T, Atkinson C, Cruttenden T, Statham J, Wright S, Young J, Fairclough J, Howard L, Neville B, Hooton D, Allen M. Bench: Loughnane C, Harrod J, Morton T.