Melton RFC's away day frustrations continue at Bugbrooke

Melton RFC slipped to their fourth defeat of the season at fifth-placed Bugbrooke on another frustrating away trip.
Harvey Green's kick set up Melton's sole try at Bugbrooke EMN-160811-122508002Harvey Green's kick set up Melton's sole try at Bugbrooke EMN-160811-122508002
Harvey Green's kick set up Melton's sole try at Bugbrooke EMN-160811-122508002

The visitors showed some great passion, determination and pride, but could not convert their chances to come away with anything from the game.

The two teams kicked off level on points, and Melton were hoping for some good fortune on the road, having found life hard playing against most of the top teams on their turf.

With several players out injured, the task looked tougher, but one the visitors were up for.

The game started at a frantic pace with neither side able to take control.

After eight minutes, Bugby picked up at the base of the scrum, went to ground and was penalised for holding on. Bugbrooke slotted the penalty to settle their nerves.

From the restart Melton were again penalised for a high tackle and the hosts kicked to the corner.

Dan Evans, making his first start, managed to steal the ball from the lineout and Cox cleared the danger, but without finding touch.

Bugbrooke countered and after a few missed tackles in midfield, the hosts were stopped on the 22 by Harry Wood. But the ball popped to the oncoming centre who scored under the posts.

The conversion stretched the lead to 10-0.

With Melton still struggling to find some form and hold on the game, Cox was deemed to have been late on a tackle and was yellow-carded.

This seemed to rally the team and things started to look up with great work from the front row of Stapleford, Stone and Brookes, and driving runs supported by Wakefield and Chambers.

Lineouts were also won to set the backs up for some dynamic running, and two minutes from half-time Melton had their first chance of points, but Green narrowly pulled the penalty wide from close to halfway.

With all to play for in the second half, Melton came out the strongest and pushed and chased everything.

Finally, a great charge down by Gormley led to Green picking a good line to kick over. The speed of Wood did the rest as he darted in from the 22. Green converted to put Melton right back in the match at 10-7.

Another great take from Evans at the restart began more pressure, with darting runs from Woolley who combined with Green to reach the five-metre line before being halted.

Melton’s pack were on top with dominant scrums and phase plays, but the resilient hosts worked hard to deny them.

Ten minutes of sustained pressure and fantastic opportunities brought no reward as Bugbrooke cleared their lines.

With Wood, Green and Stone off the field with injuries, the home side started to find their feet again.

They soon made Melton pay for missed chances with an easy try when quick ball at the base of a scrum saw the ball moved through the hands to score in the corner.

Not to be outdone, Melton won the ball from the restart, with Rose picking up a loose ball and finding Radford whose driving run won a penalty.

But Cox missed the kick and it remained 15-7.

The visitors had thrown everything at a strong defence, but were rebuffed, and in the last minute Bugbrooke made sure of the win with a converted try to sum up a frustrating day.

On Saturday, Melton start their defence of the Leicestershire County Cup, having proudly won it for the first time in the club’s history back in May.

Melton: Stone (c), Stapleford, Brookes, Chambers, Wakefield, Evans, Gormley, Bugby, Rose, Cox, Wood, Radford, Green, Woolley, Matthews, Palmer, Collins, Osbourne.