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15.2 C


Match Report: Paviors 26 – 29 Matlock

Pavs have a large number of experienced players currently unavailable


Midlands Two North – Round 19 Saturday March 2

This weekend Pavs welcomed Matlock RFC to Burntstump in Round 19 on the Midlands 2 North competition. The encounter early in the season was a close affair with Pavs grabbing the points via a last minute try, so Matlock were up for the battle and a bit of revenge.

Pavs continue to suffer injury woes with Messrs Allen B, Allen S, Billam D, Flint, Gladwin, Langan, and Taylor O all out with long and short term injuries. This has, of course, given others opportunity to stake a claim, accordingly, former and current juniors, Sam Bradley, Noah Bhatia and Eddie Holmes were selected in the match day squad. Vice captain Josh Alton-Smith slotted in at hooker whilst Ben Taylor moved to inside centre and Alex Rimmington made his first start since a head injury some weeks ago. Harry Kerr had recovered enough from a hamstring injury to also be included from the bench. So, some old, some new, some recovered from injury, some not and a host of positional changes lined up ready for kick off.

From the starting whistle, Pavs failed to secure the ball and immediately turned it over for Matlock to attack. They went close after just a couple of minutes with only Matt Molyneux’s miraculous tackle keeping them out.

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Matlock continued to attack with Pavs very much on the back foot and looking somewhat shell shocked. The away side opened the scoring with a well struck penalty on three minutes to give them a 3-0 lead.

On six minutes, Pavs looked like they had woken up, with a fine move from inside their own twenty two which allowed speedster Will Taylor to go the length to score. George Billam added the extras from out wide to put Pavs 7-3 up.

Another kick off mess up saw a Matlock flanker gather the ball and race in untouched and so put Matlock back in front at 10-7 on eight minutes. With a growing confidence Matlock piled on the pressure. They extended their lead on twelve minutes from a simple move off the scrum with the right wing evading three would be tacklers to score and bring the lead to 17-7.

Pavs continued to look at sixes and sevens and on twenty minutes, Matlock again made use of lack lustre tackling to take a seemingly unassailable lead at 24-7 with twenty minutes left to play.

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The final period saw Pavs get a little more on the front foot, but without really looking to have any measure of control. Half time 24-7 to Matlock.

Following the break, Noah Bhatia gave Ben Taylor a rest. Pavs looked like a re-energised team. Right from the kick off they made the sort of start they should have made to the first half. The home side scored on 47 mins via Jim Reeson and with Billam extras, narrowed the score to 24-14.

On 54 minutes, prop Jake Baldry fought his way over and with more Billam extras brought Pavs back in touch at 24-21.

With 58 minutes on the clock, Harry Kerr replaced Jim Reeson and Ben Taylor replaced Jonty Green. On seventy minutes and after a series of Matlock penalties and yellow card, Pavs took the scrum option. Phil Eggleshaw picked up from the base and squeezed in at the blind side corner to put Pavs in front at 26-24 for the first time since the sixth minute.

Eddie Holmes joined the fray at the same time as Pavs sought fresh legs. Unfortunately, Pavs were not able to see out the last ten, and with one last effort Matlock went in for the winning score on 75 minutes. Pavs kept battling and were pressing to the very end. Final score Pavs 26 Matlock 29. 

Pavs will willingly consign the first half of this game to The Slough of Despond, yet be buoyed by a spirited second half fight back. They are on a bit of a uncomfortable run results wise, but then who would not be with so many experienced players sidelined. Lessons will have to learned from the first half under performance, but characteristically , they will keep going and see it through to the end. Pavs travel away to Lichfield on March 16 looking to replicate the home win they recorded in November. Onwards ……!

Starting XV: Dan Hyams, Josh Alton-Smith (VC), Jake Baldry (1 try), Theo Collier (C), Sam Bradley, Jim Reeson (58 mins), Josh Flanagan, Phil Eggleshaw ( 1 try), Jonty Green (58), George Billam (3 conv), Will Taylor (1 try), Ben Taylor (40 mins), Morgan Jones, Alex Rimmington ( 70 mins), Matt Molyneux.

Impacts: Harry Kerr ( 58 mins), Noah Bhatia ( 40 mins), Eddie Holmes ( 70 mins )

Paviors Rugby Club play at Burntstump Hill, Arnold, NG5 8PQ and the club runs over twenty teams.

New players are always welcome – girls, boys, men & women, there is a team for all.

Further information about the club including contact details can be found on .

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