MATLOCK demonstrated just how hard the Midlands 1 East division can be by putting up a fight at Newbold on Avon, but it was the hosts who recorded a comfortable 53-19 victory.
The visitors started full of passion and scored almost from the kick off after the ball was moved quickly through the back line for a converted try in the first minute.
But Newbold responded immediately as Stu Houghton linked with Ben Dawes and Declan George, who sprinted down the touchline before finding skipper Dan Facer who went over wide out for an unconverted try.
Matlock continued to test the home side and scored again after a number of well-worked phases from one side of the pitch to the other saw them moved back to seven points in front.
It was all Matlock as they tore into Newbold but the hosts managed to claw their way into the match through their strong set plays.
A solid scrum foundation enabled the ball to be whipped out to winger Rich Suddens who scored out wide for an unconverted try and another unconverted try by Jon Bean pushed Newbold 15-12 in front.
Matlock lost a player to the sin bin for hands in the ruck and Newbold took their opportunity with a penalty converted by Wookey for a half-time score of 18-12.
Newbolds best move of the game earned them their bonus point, as Reed switched play back inside for a delightful move that enabled Lloyd Warner to burst through the middle, Wookey converting for 25-12. Newbold were looking much improved, as this time, Ben Thompson supplied ball off the top, George spun it out to the centre, where Danny Facer powered through the defence, to go under the posts, converted by Wookey for 32-12. Newbold scored soon after from a driving maul, hardworking skipper Facer came up from the mass of bodies, ball in hand to claim his hat trick, Wookey converted for 39-12. Ben Nuttall, Mitch Wells & Tom Clarke all came on, evidencing Newbolds current strength in depth, which will prove vital, throughout what we know will be a testing campaign. Newbold couldn’t quite find the rhythm from previous weeks, continuing to make errors throughout, a combination of the changes to the side, but also the constant pressure Matlock put them under. As Newbold counter attacked, Danny Treharne, Ben Nuttall and Mitch Wells were all prominent, before the ball was spun wide to Tom Clarke to score, Wookey adding the extras for 46-12. Matlock continued to look dangerous as their best player Howard, ran in their third try for 46-19. Newbold had the final say as Reedo supplied a little bit of magic to skip through the defence, making space for Treharne on his shoulder,, to score under the posts, Wookey converting for a final score of 53-19.
Next week, Newbold travel away to Newark for their next league game, supporters welcome and appreciated for a 3pm kick off.