SPALDING RFC: Poor form continues

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Matlock RFC 42 Spalding RFC 18: TOWN’S Midlands One East slump continued as rejuvenated Matlock denied them a double – and sent them into the bottom three.

Having won the reverse fixture 41-12 back in October, Spalding were expected to notch up another such score – but it wasn’t to be, writes GEOF NICHOLS.

Matlock kicked off with the slope of the pitch in their favour. After their kicker found touch deep in the visitors’ own 22 metre area, they ran through for the opening try on eight minutes, which was converted.

Within another five minutes there was a repeat performance.

The Matlock fly-half had the measure of the kicking and on a number of occasions kicked the ball into the Spalding 22 metre area.

Again a drive to the line saw the home-side’s forwards make another score, but this time their kick was not so accurate with the conversion missing.

However, Ollie Phillips soon opened Spalding’s account by slotting the penalty between the posts.

But as half time approached the inevitable happened.

A scrum to Spalding was lost and the home side again drove to the line for an unconverted try, leaving the two sides to turn round at half time with a score line of 17-3 in favour of Matlock.

For the first ten minutes of the second half Town had their best period and their supporters’ hopes of a victory were lifted.

From the re-start Harry Sharman collected the ball and broke through the defence and passed out to Rob Lucas who had a clear run for the line. Phillips converted.

Spalding took eight minutes before being awarded another penalty and again Phillips obliged, lifting his side to within seven points of the hosts.

But a more determined Matlock team were not happy and it wasn’t long before their next converted try was scored.

A penalty then helped the home side to stretch their lead further.

From then on it was all Matlock. A drop goal from the normally reliable kicker, followed by an unconverted try and another try in the corner left a difficult kick for the home side – but this time he did not fail.

The final action of the match was in the Matlock 22 metre area.

A penalty to Spalding gave Sharman the opportunity to cut inside and pass to Adam McHugh, who went over to score. But a missed conversion by Phillips summed up another bad day in the field for Town.

Town: Harry Sharman, Joel Riddle, Craig Dowse, Andy Branton, Ed Duerden, Tom Duerden, Phil Taylor, Andy Hoyles, Harry Brown, Rob Lucas, Ollie Phillips, Sion Williams, Ben Hoyles, George Brown, Adam McHugh, Peter Waudby, Mark Haighton, Ben Williamson.

Saturday – Town v Newark (2.15pm).