League leaders Long Eaton are too strong for Matlock RFC

Matlock welcomed league leaders Long Eaton to a very cold and crispy Cromford Meadows on Saturday, but fell to a 29-5 defeat.

By Mark Duffy
Monday, 17th January 2022, 10:25 am
Updated Monday, 17th January 2022, 10:54 am
Matlock's George Whittaker battles through the mud at Cromford Meadows against Long Eaton. Photo by Colin Baker.
Matlock's George Whittaker battles through the mud at Cromford Meadows against Long Eaton. Photo by Colin Baker.

Overnight frost thawed enough by kick-off for the game to go ahead, with Matlock forced into several changes from the win over Lincoln the previous week.

The early exchanges saw Long Eaton enjoy the lion’s share of possession and territorial advantage with Matlock having to work hard to defend against the high intensity and width of the Long Eaton attack.

Eventually on 15 minutes the stretched home defence was breached for the first score, which was converted.

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Matlock responded well and put together some good phases of play but with the lineout misfiring some promising attacking positions came to nothing.

Long Eaton had a clear game plan which they executed very well, kicking into space and turning the Matlock side around and forcing them to play from deep, the visitors soon scoring an unconverted try for a 12-0 lead.

It was beginning to look like a long hard day at the office for the home side, especially as the visitors scored two more tries to extend their lead to 24-0, albeit one of those tries was awarded despite their player apparently touching down short of the try line.

Coaches Dave Hartley and James Thraves rallied the troops and Matlock began the second half hoping to emulate their second half comeback in the away fixture but it was too big a hill to climb on this occasion.

They came very close to scoring in the scoreboard corner but with a clear side entry by Long Eaton stopping the attack going unpunished Matlock were themselves penalised.

This injustice brought about a wrong reaction to the decision which resulted in the home side being marched back 20 metres and James Young being given ten minutes in the bin.

Down to 14 men Matlock continued to compete strongly and Henri Packard eventually went over for a well-earned try making the score 24-5 in the visitors’ favour.

But Long Eaton had the final say with a late try making the final score 29-5 and on the day they were worthy winners.

This Saturday, Matlock host bottom side Coalville.