In 1926 Messrs Davis, G Kiddy, Barratt and Holmes along with others obtained a set of rugby posts from the then Riber School and erected them at Spout Farm, Tansley. The pitch was used for training and no matches were played on it.
Owing to lack of opposition and transport only a few friendly games were played over the next two years. However in 1928 Dr Sparks, Mr. K Kiddy and a group of enthusiasts inaugurated the Old Baileans RUFC, using the present Cromford Meadows pitch with the permission of the Ernest Bailey Grammar School.
The 1948 season was characterised by atrocious weather and a decline in support, and a meeting was called to disband the Club. Fortunately the meeting never took place, and instead in the following season the Club fielded a second team for the first time.
Success arrived in 1959 and 1960 with the winning of the Derbyshire Sevens Cup followed by the Three Counties Sevens Cup in 1961. The Club were the first winners of the Derbyshire Senior Knock-Out Cup in 1968/69. In 1971/72 and 1973/74 the Three Counties Cup came to Cromford, and the team reached the first round of the National Knock-Out Cup in 1972/73 before losing to Hinckley.
In 1981 Bill Halstead started the first junior team which celebrated it 25 anniversary in 2006.
With the closing of the Ernest Bailey Grammar School the Club changed its name to Matlock (Baileans) RUFC for the 1982/83 season.
In 1984/85 the Three Counties Cup was brought home again to Cromford, and in 1985/86 the Club beat Barkers Butts in the First Round of the John Player Cup but lost in the Second Round to Lichfield. Despite defeat by Newark in the final of the Three Counties Cup in 1987/88, a change in entry qualifications enabled the Club to qualify for the Pilkington Glass Knock-Out Cup (formerly the John Player Cup) in 1988/89.
Further victories in the Derbyshire Cup followed in 1989/90 and 1993/94, and most recently in 2000/01. That success crowned an outstanding season, in which the Club also won Midlands Division 4 East (North) by a convincing margin. In 2001/02, the First XV finished in third place in Midlands 3 East (North), missing the playoffs by a whisker in a hard fought League. The Second XV won Group 2 of the Security Plus Pennant and have moved up to face the much tougher challengers of Group 1.
A successful Youth Section has grown in strength in recent years, registering an impressive tally of success throughout the nineties and into the new millennium