It was a Derbyshire Cup semi-final with a cold wind blowing and Derby fielded their 2nd Team for the occasion. One minute in Tom Taylor-Dawes was shown a Yellow Card and Matlock set about their game plan with a series of pick and drives until Tom Cruttenden touched down for Tom Morton to add the conversion. George Campbell responded with a try for Derby which he also converted to level the score. It was then Matlock’s Cruttenden who was Sin Binned but it was their fullback, Fairclough who crossed the line and Morton added the conversion. After a forward drive, Jake Barker got an unconverted try to narrow the gap to two points. With just minutes to go to Half Time, Bowlam scored under the post and again Morton added the extra points but Alex Taylorson responded for Derby with another unconverted try giving Matlock a 21 points to 17 lead at the interval.
Only two minutes after the restart poor defending allowed Bowlam over for his second try. Matlock grew in confidence and were playing more like a well drilled team. Though a switch of players gave Derby total control in the scrums, slow ball was disrupted thus denying Derby’s backs the opportunity to exploit the possession. More tries quickly followed for Matlock from Fairclough, Loughnane with Morton converting one of them. Jake Barker and Dave Hartley matched tries but Morton converted the latter’s. Derby did muster a final attack and Ben Marsden forced his way over for the final try which Campbell converted.
Overall Matlock were prepared to run hard and take the ball into contact confident of close support. They fully deserved their win.
Match Report by Gerry Sherry
Photographs of the Matlock 1st XV v Derby 2nd XV game will be available to view on the e4creative photography website later this week.