Melton RFC’s three-year unbeaten home record ended by Newbold

Melton attempt to break through the Newbold line EMN-170124-132014002
Melton attempt to break through the Newbold line EMN-170124-132014002

League leaders Newbold came on strong in the second half to end Melton’s impressive three-year unbeaten run at Burton Road.

Melton kicked off with the wind and slope in their favour, winning an immediate penalty which was dispatched five yards from the visitors’ line.

The visitors' defence held up well to frustrate Melton EMN-170124-132025002

The visitors' defence held up well to frustrate Melton EMN-170124-132025002

A good catch and drive from Peters was stopped short of the line as the hosts threatened to make an early breakthrough.

But it was first blood to Newbold after 15 minutes when a driving maul was followed by quick ball along the backs, creating a four-man overlap for Ed Scott to cross for the opening try.

But Melton hit straight back from the restart when an offside infringement allowed Matt Cox to slot over a penalty.

Both sides tried to gain the advantage, and Newbold threatened again as good play through the phases earned a penalty which they kicked to the corner.

Kieran Busby looks for a gap EMN-170124-132036002

Kieran Busby looks for a gap EMN-170124-132036002

Luckily for Melton, the lineout throw was not straight.

But there was no mistakes the next time as O’Brien kicked a penalty awarded following a strong run from Lloyd Warner.

The hosts responded again when a poor Newbold lineout ended with Chris Rose ripping possession back.

Melton pressed and Cox’s smart drop goal kept them in touching distance at 8-6.

Another drop goal attempt sailed wide, but Melton went ahead when Newbold were penalised for a deliberate knock-on following a home scrum, and Cox made it 9-8.

It was soon Melton’s turn to deliberately knock on in their own 22 and Newbold gave up a simple three points to kick to the corner.

Dixon secured the lineout, and a well-rehearsed drive allowed Ben Nuttal to crash over. O’Brien added the extras for a 15-9 half-time lead.

Kicking off for the second half, the visitors laid siege to Melton’s line.

But after a knock-on prevented a certain score, the hosts almost scored again when an interception allowed Melton’s centre to break out and sprint half-the-length of the pitch before being bought down.

The scrums in the first half had been even, but Newbold began to get the upper hand, while their backs repeatedly made good ground.

A repeated forward flurry paid dividends as Ben Dawes barrelled his way over from two metres, and O’Brien added a touchline conversion (9-22).

Dawes returned Melton’s restart 40 yards before Newbold sub Mark Hyde set up the ruck.

Declan George was brought down five metres out before offloading to Dawes who crashed over for his second try. O’Brien’s boot made it 9-29.

Melton refused to accept defeat with Leon Gormley scoring the hosts’ only try of the day following a great take from a high ball.

Newbold had the final word through James McGill’s score, but a special mention went to young Melton Colt Loveday who came on and handled himself well against a senior prop, hinting at a great future.

Melton: Osbourne, Badham, Stone, Bugby, Badham, Gormley, Peters, Evans, Rose, Cox, Wood, Prior, Radford, Brooks, Green. Sub: Chambers, Loveday, Belcher.