A clinical second-half display allowed Melton RFC to break their away duck at in-form Market Rasen on Saturday.
A scrappy opening 10 minutes saw both sides struggle to string phases together.
The visitors’ usually solid lineout was not working and Rasen looked likely scorers when they pounced on a loose ball in Melton’s 22, but Wayne Brookes came to the rescue to earn an attacking scrum.
The front row of Stone, Badham and Brookes gave the opposition problems throughout and forced a penalty to remove the pressure.
Melton started to put a few moves together with coach Gareth Collins joining the back line from full-back and adding pace to take the ball into the home half for the first time.
With the lineout now functioning, Cox used his size to run up the middle of the pitch, and Melton won a penalty when Rasen failed to release at the breakdown. Cox stepped up to kick Melton into a 3-0 lead.
Falling behind kick-started the hosts into some fine rugby, and after several plays inside Melton’s 22, they won an attacking lineout seven metres out.
Melton got their hands on the ball and Cox cleared, but from the next phase of play, Rasen drove up the middle before spreading play to Tom Stephens. He sprinted down the left wing and, with a fine side-step, wrong-footed several Melton players to score.
The updated laws came into play when a clumsy high tackle saw Rasen blindside Ben Chamberlin spend 10 minutes on the sideline.
The hosts still tried to run the ball back, but the centre pairing of Klay Radford and Carl Prior broke up several threatening moves.
Melton slowly took control and shortly before half-time they were awarded a lineout 20 metres out.
A clean lineout and a well-drilled drive up field ended in a well-worked try for Wayne Brookes and an 8-5 half-time lead.
The second half started with Rasen again trying to run the ball, but Prior and Leon Gormley combined to force a penalty.
After 15 hard-fought minutes of tackling, the game then changed for Melton.
Sam Badham was yellow-carded for pulling his opposite number down at a lineout, but it helped Melton pull together with Prior putting in another big hit in midfield, and Gormley clearing upfield.
Following a Rasen clearing kick, Collins picked up the loose ball and ran around the defence before slipping an inside pass to Harry Wood who dived over for Melton’s second try.
Another score soon followed when Melton ran the kick-off back and after several plays by the forwards, the ball made its way out to the left wing where Wood added his second try in the corner.
Back to full strength, Melton earned their fourth try and a bonus point when they won a lineout 15 metres out.
The pack controlled the ball and drove Rasen back for Sam Badham to score with Cox converting.
Melton remain fourth in Midlands One East but should take confidence as they push for successive away wins at Wellingborough on Saturday (kick-off 2.15pm).
Melton: Stone, M. Badham, Brookes, S. Badham, Bugby, Chambers, Gormley, Evans, Rose, Cox, Prior, Radford, Wood, Brookes, Collins, Osborne, Lennox, Miller.