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1st XV - Match centre

Nottingham Casuals
Matlock
Sat 4 Nov 14:15 - Midlands Division - Midlands 2 East (North) Full time

Casuals 24 Matlock 8

Fantastic win puts Casuals 2nd equal in the league

Midlands 2 East North
Casuals 24 Matlock 8

Casuals win to avenge many recent defeats at the hands of the visitors.
A much improved and disciplined team performance saw Casuals put the previous week’s loss well behind them.
Matlock sitting 2 places above Casuals in the table at the start of the game, found themselves equal , joint second with
Coalville, Dronfield, & Casuals, all on 19 league points.
Newark, Casuals opponents next weekend, are directly below Casuals.

http://www.englandrugby.com/club-competitions/midlands-division/fixtures-and-results/2017-2018/group/22848

Casuals started on the attack, the first signs really good, with the jitters from the previous week not evident. Instead it was Matlock who were jittery.

A chip ahead after a couple of minutes, saw Brody Howatson follow up, and claim the bouncing ball from the nervous Matlock defence, gaining 50 metres on his run through.
The ball was recycled and Ben Hallam went through the gap, feeding Kieran Maisonett to score, with Mark Higgins converting.

Casuals won the early exchanges, with excellent lineout work, and they dominated territory.

Unfortunately a knock on be Casuals gave Matlock a scrum, and they burst through, only to be stopped by a last gasp tackle.
This lead to a penalty moments later for Lincoln, and they kicked the 3 points.

Casuals continued their dominance, turning over a maul then a scrum. Stu Wiliams was provoding good ball at the lineout, and another take saw the ball go out to Steve Naylor, who was forced out of play just short of Matlock’s try line.
The tackling was key to Casuals’ dominance, and most of Matlock’s moves were stifled.
Then Casuals conceded some ground at a scrum, but the kick ahead was ineffectual.

Then Gareth Davies-Jones went on a solo run, and his kick ahead put Casuals right back deep into Matlock’s 22.

Casuals showed their mauling skills with an excellent drive from the lineout. The move ended when the ball was knocked on.
Matlock managed to completely mess up from the scrum, the ball going loose in the in-goal area, and Matt Fox following up dived on the ball for Casuals second try.
Higgins converted again.

Casuals played out the rest odf the first half, dominating much of the play to half time to turn round 14 – 3 in front.

The second half opened with Casuals on top again, but a few mistakes, and a couple of penalties enabled Matlock to advance into Casuals ½ and they worked their way down the wing for an unconverted try, much against the pattern of play.

Casuals brought on Barry Harding into the back row to replace an unwell Kieran Maiseonett!!

Higgins then added to Casuals score with a penalty when Matlock looked as if they might be coming back into the game
Then Matlock’s nerves started to show a bit, again.
A knock on by Matlock’s full back, under no pressure, gave Casuals easy territory.
More poor handling kept Casuals on the front foot.
Then with a yellow card to Matlock’s no 4 on 27 minutes gave Casuals more hope.

Casuals interchanged their subs.
Lewis Brown was brought off, with Maisonett back on after his brief interlude.
alex hawkins swapped with Steve Baraniak.

Casuals continued their quest, but unfortunately lost Higgins to a yellow card, and it looked as if Casuals might be under pressure.
But it was Matlock who fouled up again, and when their backs spilled the ball, Naylor was alert, picking up the loose ball and streaked off down the left wing, with no-one able to catch him, then with some deft footwork, managed to get the ball to the posts before touching down.
Gareth Davies-Jones converted to ease Casuals well in front, a lead that was never challenged.

With the win almost guaranteed Casuals introduced Dave Mellor at scrum half, bringing off Andy Harris.

Unfortunately Maisonnet thenhad to finally retire from the game went he was hurt in a tackle, a strange a stud mark shaped hole appearing on the back of his hand, leading to an out pouring of blood.

With Higgins eventually returning from patching up the wound, it looking a safe bet for the win.

A great team effort, praised by the referee, saying it was the best display he had reffed from Casuals in 5 years.

I’m sure the players and coaches will take that compliment.

Team was

1 Antonios Alexiou
2 Graeme Roberts
3 alex hawkins
4 Lewis Brown
5 Kieran Maisonnet (Try)
6 Joe Barton
7 Matthew Fox (Try)
8 Stuart Williams
9 Gareth Davies-Jones (1 conversion)
10 Mark Higgins (2 conversions, 1 penalty)
11 Kristianas Jakuba (debut)
12 Andrew Harris
13 Brodie Howatson
14 Stephen Naylor (Try)
15 Ben Hallam

16 Barry Harding
17 Stephen Baraniak
18 David Mellor


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League table

# Team Pl Pts
1. West Bridgford 7 26
2. Matlock 7 24
3. Dronfield 7 23
4. Newark 7 22
5. Ashbourne 7 21
6. Nottingham Casuals 7 20
7. Coalville 7 19

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