Unbeaten Melton RFC quell Biggleswade fightback

Action from Melton RFC 27-19 Biggleswade EMN-151117-090302002

Action from Melton RFC 27-19 Biggleswade EMN-151117-090302002

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Melton battled to a hard-fought win in tough conditions to maintain their unbeaten start and third place in Midlands Two East (South).

Strong winds and driving rain hampered any efforts at flowing rugby on the firs-ever meeting of the two sides, but the hosts started brightly with the slope in their favour. Energetic driving mauls had the visitors in some disarray and gave a decent supply of ball to the backs with Dan Wakefield and Lewis Moult prominent.

The pressure soon told when Chris Rose whipped the ball out to Matt Cox who was given too much room and jinked his way over for the first try within five minutes.

Melton kept up the pressure as the wet ball made handling difficult and some first-rate tackling kept the home side camped in the visitors half for long periods.

A skewed kick out of defence was well-taken by James Woolley to find Harvey Green in support who simply turned on the gas to leave defenders trailing. A last-ditch tackle by the full-back prevented a score, but Leon Gormley was on his shoulder to take the final pass and score an excellent try, Cox adding the conversion.

Melton continued to make light of the conditions as Marcus Badham led by example with some trademark tackling and an eye for the breaks, well supported by Christian Jeremiah.

Biggleswade defended well but had little answer to the wave of attacks, opting to kick out of defence but Mark Matthews at full-back was sharp, returning the ball with delightful kicking for territory.

One such probing kick led to a lineout which was stolen by Sam Badham and the ball was spun out wide. Carl Prior cleverly committed the defence and Chris Williams scored out wide. Cox struck a sweet conversion.

The final score of the half came from Cox’s cultured boot as he conjured a drop goal out of nowhere for a comfortable 22-0 lead.

Biggleswade had little to lose and began the second half brightly, urged on by their livewire scrum-half.

Melton sat back and let the visitors dictate the pace. They didn’t help themselves when Wayne Brookes was yellow-carded after running into the referee.

Biggleswade took full advantage of the extra man when their forwards exerted real pressure in the scrum to earn a converted try.

Melton went in search of another score with Richard Foster making several breaks from the back of the scrum with Gormley and Moult reading the game well and providing good support.

Turnover ball in midfield gave Rose a tiny gap which he exploited and found Matthews’ well-timed run. Cox flipped the ball on to Williams who cleverly evaded the covering defence to score out wide for the bonus point try.

Biggleswade increased the tempo and wisely kept the ball tight. They were well rewarded when a set scrum near Melton’s line ended in a converted pushover try.

The visitors continued to press home their superiority in the scrum. Lee Miller and Adam Chambers came on to provide fresh legs, but they couldn’t prevent a rolling maul giving Biggleswade a consolation try at the final whistle.

Melton: C. Jeremiah, M. Badham, W. Brookes, S. Badham, D. Wakefield, L. Moult, R. Foster, L. Gormley, C. Rose, M. Cox, C. Prior, J, Woolley, C. Williams, H. Green, M. Matthews. Replacements: L. Miller, A. Chambers A. Broughton.