SLACK DEFENCE GIFTS LATE TRIES
A full strength Matlock side took to the field and dominated many aspects of set play throughout the match. The game was lost through lackluster tackling and the inability to take advantage. Mansfield led 7 nil at half time and conceded two tries to Matlock early in the second half. Quick ball put Mike Gunter into space inside the Matlock half. He sprinted past three despairing tacklers and touched down under the posts.Straight from the restart Matthew Webster ripped the ball from a ruck and set off for the posts from 50 meters. Mike Gunter added both conversions to give Matlock a 7-point lead. Instead of continuing with the pressure and secure the victory, Matlock lost composure and concentration allowing the inept refereeing decisions to dispirit them. The defence crumbled gifting Mansfield four late tries to claim a victory that Matlock should have denied them.
SECOND HALF MAKES DIFFERNECE
Matlock U15 57
All credit goes to Buxton RFC in fulfilling this fixture even though most of the side are U14 players.
Dogged defence from the visitors denied Matlock any
scoring opportunities until the 20th minute when Mike Gunter
from a kick ahead, pressured the full back, gathered the ball to score. Mike had
a superb day scoring three more tries and converting six out of nine tries, an
impressive total of thirty-two points. Buxton kept Matlock deep in their own
half for long periods of play and were justly awarded with a converted try. The
half closed Matlock 19 Buxton 7. Unable to maintain their resistance Buxton then
conceded tries to James Shooter, Matthew Webster(2), Tom
Bestwick and a first ever try for the team by Second Row Chris Giles.
Things might be different when Matlock host local rivals Chesterfield in two
BACKS SHOW THEIR PACE
Matlock U15 46
Ilkeston U15 15
The final score line might convey an easy victory but
Matlock had a real forwards battle against a big Ilkeston pack. It was sheer
pace and quick handling from all players that produced some exhilarating rugby
on a cold and wet morning. James Shooter at fly half was involved in many
of the moves with intelligent distribution of the ball or solo breaks to open up
the opposition defence. Ilkeston were unable to contain Mike Gunter who
opened the scoring after just a few minutes. Matthew Webster produced a
solo effort of sheer strength to run in the second from 55 meters with the
touchline kick being converted by Mike Gunter. Poor defending allowed
Ilkeston to score and then concede a try to Robert Fox. Mike Gunter
brought the half to a close with another solo effort grounding the ball between
Bridgford U15 10
recorded their first victory in emphatic form with an excellent all round team
pack played as a unit, controlling most of the scrums and lineout. The three
quarter line attacking at every opportunity, creating a platform for the loose
forwards to exploit the rucks and mauls. The home side worked tirelessly on
their defence and managed to thwart several Matlock attacks near their line.
West Bridgford opened the scoring with a quick three quarter move and a winger
scoring in the corner.
a ruck 35meters out, Matthew Webster broke loose and handed off three despairing
tacklers to open the score. The game proved to be a tight affair until Mike
Gunter ran in an excellent individual try from 50 meters, touching down between
the posts. Tom Bestwick converted both. Half time saw Matlock facing down a
sloping pitch and although they kept the opposition pinned in their own
territory, could not capitalize on the advantage. On several occasions West
Bridgford broke loose and managed to bring the score back to 10-14. Excellent
cover defence from the Matlock three quarters denied them any further scoring
opportunities and the game ended as the confidence boost the side needed for the
remainder of the season.
TACKLING PRACTICE NEEDED
to full strength Matlock took the game to Lincoln right from the start and
dominated the opening minutes of this encounter. The Matlock pack had total
control of all the scrums and lineouts throughout the game and it was only poor
tackling that allowed Lincoln to run in their tries. Lincoln opened the score
and Matlock immediately replied from a scrum 20 yards out. Tom Bestwick playing
his first full game at No 8 picked up and drove for the line. Tackled short, he
offloaded to Joe Booth to score.
half time score was 5 –10 to Lincoln. The visitors increased their lead to 17
points before Matthew Webster scored. The game went end to end before Matlock
were awarded a penalty on the halfway. Quick hands down the line saw the ball
with Mike Gunter who accelerated past the despairing cover defence to run in a
try from 50 meters. Lincoln proved to be the better side at the breakdown
throughout this encounter as Matlock gifted them possession from which they
scored two more tries to take the victory.
STORM SWEEPS MATLOCK
The weather forecast for the day was for severe storms sweeping in from the west. The weather remained calm and the only tempest was a Glossop side intent on a high-octane performance. Matlock, short of players through injury and unavailability, worked hard to contain the opposition but could not defend against a free running and well-drilled squad. James Shooter and Joe Booth worked hard all through the match to stem the flow of tries with effective tackling but Matlock were always on the back foot. The second half saw a more committed performance by all of the home side with Chris Giles making two shuddering tackles in open play. Glossop handed out lessons in continuity and possession in this sporting encounter played in the best of spirits by both sides.
OPENING GAMES SET STANDARD FOR SEASON
Mansfield walked away with the points but newly appointed skipper George Stephenson and the squad triumphed in this closely contested seasons opener at the Meadows. Pride and determination were the cornerstones of a great display from every member of the team. Joe Booth, Daniel Byrne and Tom Bestwick soon turned robust defence into attack in loose play. A well drilled Mansfield side confronted James Shooter and Mike Gunther whose mid field tackling thwarted the oppositions attempts to run the ball. Newcomers to rugby Tyrone Elton and Daniel Malloy exemplified the spirit of the team with excellent individual performances. At half time Mansfield led by 17 points to nil.
battered away and Daniel Byrne picked up loose ball at a ruck close to the
Mansfield line and drove through the defence to touch down. From a 22 dropout by
Matlock the only serious lapse in concentration allowed Mansfield to run wide of
the defence to score. The kickoff saw Matlock immediately put Mansfield under
pressure. Exploiting the short side, George Stephenson then Luke Christian
for the line.
No 8 Joe Booth was stopped short, yet epitomized the determination of the squad by reaching out and planting the ball for the second score.