Ferocious forwards set up good Melton victory

Ferocious action as Melton and Market Rasen players compete for the ball during Saturday's match  PHOTO JON STAVES EMN-160919-161848002
Ferocious action as Melton and Market Rasen players compete for the ball during Saturday's match PHOTO JON STAVES EMN-160919-161848002
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A dominant display gave Melton a bonus point win they deserved against opposition who are highly experienced at this level.

It’s a good few years since these sides last met but Rasen have enjoyed several seasons playing in Midlands 1 East.

The game started at a frenetic pace with the visitors enjoying a steady flow of possession with the half backs of Starling and Robinson linking well and testing the defence with some sparkling back play.

It was only some terrific defence and a few loose passes that prevented the visitors getting an early score.

There were some feisty exchanges amongst the forwards as both packs strived to gain the upper hand.

The referee decided that some of the play was a bit over-exuberant and gave a yellow card to a flanker from each side, Chamberlain and Lee Miller spending 10 minutes in the sinbin.

A penalty was awarded to Melton from that incident and Matt Cox kicked deep into Market Rasen’s half.

Dan Wakefield took a superb catch to set up a rolling maul which was unstoppable as they drove the visitors pack back and Leon Gormley scored the opening try.

The visitors came back strongly with several phases of attacks but some fine tackling by Kieran Stone and Gareth Collins stemmed the tide.

A crunching tackle from Sam Badham saw the ball go loose and a fly hack downfield by Mark Matthews was recovered by the full back Pope. But the ball was carried over resulting in an attacking scrum to Melton.

The home forwards were starting to assert their dominance in the set piece and a well driven scrum saw Kieran Bugby pick up from the base and commit several tacklers to pop the ball up for Duncan Lennox to dart under the posts, Cox adding the conversion for a 12-0 lead.

Rasen started running the ball at every opportunity and good work by dangerous number eight, Dave Starling and quick hands saw full back Jeremy Pope score in the corner.

An unfortunate fumble by Sam Badham inches from the line meant half-time arrived with the score close.

But Melton struck early in the second half.

Cox kicked deep for territory after good work from Bugby and the returning kick was caught with a leap from Wayne Brookes who fed Lee Miller on the charge in support. Good support play by the forwards saw Marcus Badham drive over.

Melton tackled bravely, rallied by good home support before speculative cross field kick by Cox saw Ben Warwick hound his opposition winger, giving Carl Prior the chance to gather the loose ball and sprint over , Cox adding the extras.

Melton freshened the team up with James Newman and Josh Palmer coming on for their debuts.

The final score came after more powerful forward play set up another Cox penalty.

Melton RFC: Wayne Brookes, Marcus Badham, Kieran Stone, Dan Wakefield, Sam Badham, Leon Gormly, Kieran Bugby, Lee Miller, Duncan Lennox, Matt Cox, Ben Warwick, Carl Prior, Gareth Collins, Harvey Green, Mark Matthews, Dave Osborne, James Newman, Josh Palmer.