Matlock back with a bang as Ilkeston are defeated

Matlock RFC returned to competitive action for the first time in 18 months with a 34-15 win at Ilkeston on Saturday.

Tuesday, 28th September 2021, 2:36 pm

Matlock kicked off and quickly took the lead when from a lineout a clean catch was followed by a strong driving maul which enabled Tom Wright to touch down for the first try with only four minutes gone. The conversion effort was wide of the uprights.

From the kick off there was little respite for the home side and after a great turn over by John Statham on half way the ball was moved quickly to Henri Packard who kicked long into space before showing his searing pace to be first to the loose ball and hacking it over the line and touching down for a great individual score, though again the conversion was off target.

Ilkeston were clearly stunned by Matlock’s intense start to the game and their early pain was exacerbated when there restart didn’t go ten metres. From the ensuing scrum a training ground move saw Wright pick up from the base and draw his man before passing to Packard who ran at the winger with Dan Hooton in support. Packard stepped and cruised past the bewildered winger before going through the gears and burning down the line leaving the full back in his wake before going round under the posts for a superb score. Harry Morton added the extras for a 17-0 lead only ten minutes into the match.

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Ilkeston replied with an unconverted try in the corner soon afterwards, and went on to add two more unconverted tries in the same corner before half-time to reduce the arrears to two points.

From the restart Matlock began with more intensity and control and their efforts were soon rewarded with a strong forwards try when another powerful catch and drive resulted in John Statham touching down. Ben Neville’s conversion attempt was off target.

On 60 minutes Matlock extended their lead from another catch and drive followed by pick and goes before Wright touched down, the conversion again off target.

Then, after an Ilkeston player had been sin-binned, Curtis Bolam touched down and Harry Morton converted to go 34-15 ahead, a lead that would prove to be unassailable as Matlock secured a bonus point win on the road.