Derby 10 - Matlock 17
Fantastic team performance in very difficult conditions.
We played Derby in the first game of the season 12 a-side and drew 31-31. In March we let them off the hook having outplayed them in the first half and in the NLD 7s we let them off the hook again. This was the final game of the season and a must win game for Matlock
The forwards have grown as a unit and looked solid in the ruck, maul and scrum. The backs attacked when the opportunity presented itself. Making allowances for the very wet and windy conditions Matlock retained 80% of the ball and played with ball in hand. Because of the conditions with the ball like a bar of soap there were errors on both sides. It was a game where you played to the conditions and the refs whistle.
Matlock played against the wind in the first half, with Derby not making best use of the conditions. 0n 28 mins from excellent forward play, Tom Cruttenden in support took the ball just inside the Derby 22 and worked his way toward the line scoring to the right of the posts. A very well taken try. Half-time 5-0
The second half, with the wind at our backs, the tactic was to keep ball in hand and pin Derby in the corners and drive from there. This worked with a score from Elliot Moule after some excellent rucking and mauling by the forwards 10-0. We allowed Derby back into the game which resulted in a score 10-5.
It was time to regroup and refocus our efforts. This the team did, applying pressure again to the Derby line. From a Derby Line out 10 metres from their line the ball was fumbled by Derby, Curtis Bolam, who had an outstanding game and showed great leadership was through on the ball forcing their player back over his line then robbing the ball from him to touch down. Curtis converted his try. 17-5 With 15 mins to go we eased up slightly, allowing Derby in for another try 17-10 The final 10 mins required strength and determination, which each player showed in abundance. The conditions and number of tackles made must have sapped the energy of all players but they stuck at the task.
Individually, every player produced an enormous performance which contributed to the overall team performance.
Curtis, Ben S, (Luke) George, Harry S, Will H, Elliot, Tom C, Jordan, Sean) Phil, Dan, (Warren) Tristan, Tom L, Jak, Drew, Jim
It was great for the team to end the season on a win. A season where we played 22 won 17 lost 5. Points for 608 points against 325.
Thanks to the parents for turning up and standing in the freezing rain and wind. It was worth it.