Melton RFC Veterans knock Oadby out of County Cup

Melton RFC Veterans XV and supporters ready for County Cup action at Oadby EMN-161115-125125002

Melton RFC Veterans XV and supporters ready for County Cup action at Oadby EMN-161115-125125002

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A late penalty gave Melton RFC Vets XV a fine victory against an Oadby side featuring former Tigers and England star Harry Ellis.

The County Cup tie was the Vets’ first outing of the season as they faced well organised opponents with the benefit of home advantage and games under their belt.

Both teams sought to play a contrasting type of rugby as Wyggs looked to move the ball wide on a large pitch, while Melton’s huge pack tried to keep play at close quarters.

Almost immediately from the kick-off Melton won lineout ball and drove over the line, with Dave Meakin, Andy Stockdale and Alan Wade all claiming a part of the touchdown. Sam Clemmons slotted a difficult conversion for a dream start.

But this jolted Wyggs into action, playing fast, incisive rugby to suck Melton in and then move play wide.

Man-of-the-match Tony Berry was a Trojan in the Melton defence, tackling everything that moved and running well with ball in hand. But it was his work at the breakdown which proved most decisive.

Oadby hit back when a couple of stray kicks allowed a clean break for a try out wide on the left.

Adam Underwood produced two outstanding pieces of defence, but couldn’t prevent Wyggs nudging further ahead through Ellis as the hosts moved into a narrow 10-7 lead.

Melton applied pressure up to half-time, with straight running from Rich Evans, Lewis Brookes and Rich Meakin to the fore, but Oadby held out.

After the break the visitors conceded a soft try following three penalties, and found themselves 15-7 down despite dominating the set piece.

But Melton responded superbly as Dave Simms’ magnificent show and go ignited the forwards, while Stuart Kempin and Wayne Greaves directed the straight lines and Marcus Twidale pinched possession.

After several more scrums, a score looked inevitable, and after Rich Meakin was denied a try, Greaves powered over from the resulting penalty and Clemmons added the simple conversion.

The visitors had their tails up, and after three successive collapsed scrums, Clemmons knocked over the match-winning penalty.