Melton RFC stay top with Rushden whitewash

Melton RFC First XV shut out opponents Rushden and Higham in a bonus point victory on Saturday EMN-151027-130420002

Melton RFC First XV shut out opponents Rushden and Higham in a bonus point victory on Saturday EMN-151027-130420002

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Melton maintained their unbeaten start to the season, and with it their place at the top of Midlands Two East (South), with a somewhat disjointed win over a tenacious Rushden side.

With Gareth Collins’ side crossing the line twice in the opening 10 minutes, it initially appeared as if the flow of tries was going to be as regular as the October rain which fell on the fixture.

But despite Melton securing the try bonus point before half-time, the visitors should take credit for their resolve which limited the scoring to 8-0 in the second half.

The groundwork for the victory was laid by Harry Wood whose two tries either side of half-time underlined his blistering pace and owed a great deal to the excellent work of his team-mates.

Chris Rose proved a livewire at scrum-half and he provided the spark to build on the solid foundations put down by captain Marcus Badham and his brother Sam, both of whom were excellent.

At the scrummage, Dave Osbourne provided a first class delivery, while Wayne Brooks astutely managed his game and was rewarded for his efforts with a try.

Leon Gormley was the man most responsible for building a defensive wall at the breakdown as he frequently turned over and disrupted any opposition possession.

With the forwards enjoying such ascendancy, the three-quarters made much of the possession and territory which followed.

Despite being responsible for the biggest tackle of the game, Carl Prior was not employed much by way of defensive duties, and it was his try which opened the scoring.

Ben Warwick at full-back was able to join the attacking line as often as possible and coach Collins, who was pressed into service because of player unavailability, delivered a masterclass lesson in wing play before being forced from the pitch with a hamstring strain.

Mark Cox returned to the side and recorded a 16-point haul consisting of one penalty, four conversions and a try when he sold a dummy and sailed over unopposed from 40 metres out.

Youngsters Adam Broughton and Christian Jeremiah both acquitted themselves well when they came off the bench.

The win puts Melton a point clear of Leicestershire rivals Market Harborough and three ahead of third-placed Lutterworth.

The league schedule serves up another blank Saturday this weekend, and Melton will return on Saturday, November 7 with a trip to Belgrave (kick-off 2.15pm).

Melton: B. Warwick, G. Collins (A. Broughton), C. Prior, M. Cox, M. Matthews, C. Rose, B. Prior (C. Jeremiah), M. Badham (c), D. Osbourne, S. Badham, W. Brooks, L. Moult, L. Gormley (A. Chambers), R. Foster.