Melton RFC First XV will hope for some festive cheer on Saturday as they look to respond after their heaviest defeat of the season.
Mike Holford’s side made the long trip to Bedfordshire to take on Leighton Buzzard on the back of four successive defeats, while the hosts had lost their unbeaten record the previous Saturday.
But there was to be no upset of the form book, despite another spirited display, as the Midlands Two East (South) leaders hammered their visitors 56-3.
Melton’s eighth league defeat of the season left them in 10th, level on points with second-bottom St Ives.
Melton kicked off uphill in dry but gusty and cold conditions, and with the wind with them for the first half.
But they trailed Dafter only three minutes when Ash Walsh touched down following a rolling maul.
Four minutes later full-back Harri Sayer broke from his own 22 and ran 70 metres to score second try for the hosts.
Leighton extended their lead to 13-0 lead after 20 minutes when Lee Walker kicked a penalty, and with the Buzzard backs looking dangerous, Eddie Wiggins jinked his way under the posts following Euan Irwin’s break.
Lee Walker converted before Melton got on the scoreboard with a penalty of their own for 20-3.
Handling errors and a high penalty count disrupted the flow of the game, but the hosts continued to threaten, and wrapped up a bonus point before half-time thanks to their forward pack.
Melton were powerless to stop a driving a maul from rumbling 50 metres before Walsh touched down for his second score.
Walker added the extras and then a penalty with the last kick of the half as Melton trailed 30-3 at the break.
Buzzards immediately pressed from the start of the second half and within five minutes, Harri Sayer had scored in the corner.
Seven minutes later Tom Byard scored under the posts, with Walker’s conversion stretching their advantage to 42-3.
Despite the outcome being way beyond doubt, Melton remained competitive and showed a spirited defence.
And while rarely threatening the Buzzard line, the visitors had pace in midfield and made a couple of sharp breaks.
But with 10 minutes left, Leighton full-back Harri Sayer scored another fine individual try, and there was still time for another Irwin break to put Wiggins in for his second try.
Walker converted both late tries to complete a 56-3 scoreline.
In their last league match of the year, Melton return to their Burton Road home on Saturday when they entertain Long Buckby in an important fixture.
The visitors sit just one place and five points ahead of Melton. Kick-off is 2.15pm.