Wasteful Matlock put to the sword by leaders

George Whittaker aims to make progress against the league leaders. Photo by Colin Baker.
George Whittaker aims to make progress against the league leaders. Photo by Colin Baker.

Matlock 0

Peterborough Lions 38

League leaders Peterborough Lions showed their superiority with a comfortable win at Cromford Meadows on Saturday.

Matlock had been forced into several changes but these didn’t seem to affect them too much early on. In fact, during the first quarter Matlock created the better opportunities.

A mis-pass from James Young put Dan Hooton in space down the wing and his inside pass looked to have put Scott Robinson in the clear but he couldn’t quite get away from the last defender in the sticky conditions.

Then George Whittaker showed how much he has been missed with a great midfield break but this too came to nothing.

Another great opportunity was wasted when Matlock failed to win their own line-out ball close to the opposition line.

After this disappointment the Lions then began to get their own game plan working more effectively and they scored two tries in quick succession, albeit their efforts were largely aided by slack defence on both occasions. Half-time saw the visitors 12-0 ahead.

The second-half was much the same as the first with Matlock getting themselves into a good position to threaten the Lions’ line, but again a catch and drive opportunity went begging as the line-out was lost.

This area of the game proved to be Matlock’s Achilles heel for the remainder of the match as time and again they failed to secure their own line-out ball and this was a major contributory factor to the final result.

In contrast, when Lions created a scoring opportunity they were clinical in their finishing and crossed the line on three more occasions before the final whistle, showing why they are most likely destined for the National Three league next season barring unforeseen hiccups.

The home side will be frustrated by this defeat and rightly so, because man for man there wasn’t much to choose between these teams but no side can expect to win any game if they cannot secure their own ball from set plays and Matlock spent too much time living off scraps.

The effort to rescue the season goes on and this weekend’s clash away at old rivals Newark now becomes the next big focus. Kick off 2.15pm.