Tries from Aaron Codling, Will Scammell and Will Oliver ensured Lincoln’s 1st XV emerged victorious with an 18-17 win over Matlock in their first home league game of the season.
Spanish prop John Aboitiz came off the bench to cap his debut with a man-of-the-match performance, while George Pomfret also impressed despite his first-half yellow card.
Codling went over for a try to cancel out Connor Loughnane’s opener for Matlock as Lincoln trailed 7-5 at half-time.
Lincoln took the lead within two minutes of the restart when Laguna Fisiihoi made great yards before offloading to Scammell, who sprinted down the wing from near the halfway line to score a try.
A George Whittaker try put Matlock back in front before James Kirk slotted over a penalty to swing the game back in Lincoln’s favour.
Lincoln extended their lead when a great line-out move to the front man David Beveridge saw the prop expertly offload the ball for Oliver to score a try in the corner.
James Fairclough crossed for a late try to give Matlock hope, but crucially Whittaker missed the conversion as Lincoln held on for victory.
After the match Lincoln’s assistant head coach Ross Tarnowski said: “The first-half performance was below par as we didn’t execute what we wanted to do. The half-time team-talk was really positive with three key points to put right.
“The second half was played within our system and it showed a marked improvement. It was a great win at home for the lads, considering we lost home and away to them last season.
Jordan Beaumont, who was making his last appearance for the club, added: “I will miss everyone at the club and it has been a privilege to be on the pitch with such talented players. There is a lot of potential at this club.”
Ben Green marked his return to the side with two tries, but it was not enough to prevent Lincoln Imps XV from going down to a 48-17 defeat at Matlock’s 2nd XV.
Captain James Johnson also crossed for a try, with player manager Brad Nixon adding one conversion.
Nixon said: “The team spirit was unbelievable and everyone did Lincoln Rugby Club proud and it was great to see Ben Green score twice on his return.”
Lincoln Ladies battled bravely before losing 55-10 against Scunthorpe with a limited squad available and players having to play out of position.
Lincoln’s 1st XV travel to face Kesteven in the NLD Shield on Saturday. The 3rd XV, who saw their match with Leesbrook called off, will return to action against Boston.
OTHER RESULTS Elsewhere in the county, league leaders Scunthorpe won 41-21 against Derby in the Midlands Premier. In Midlands Two East (North) Market Rasen & Louth made it back-to-back victories with a 30-12 win at Long Eaton.
In Midlands Three East (North), Kesteven beat Rolls Royce 13-0, but Spalding were on the wrong end of a 43-5 defeat at Belper. Sleaford’s trip to Buxton was moved to Sunday with the visitors losing 27-7. Stamford claimed a 57-8 win at county rivals Bourne in Midlands Three East (South).
In Midlands Four East (North) league leaders Cleethorpes claimed a 57-19 win at Skegness. North Hykeham edged out county rivals Grimsby 24-20, but Boston lost 26-20 at Worksop. Bottom club Gainsborough lost 87-0 at Nottinghamians.