Melton open new season with hard-fought win

Harry Wood makes a valuable tackle for Melton. EMN-170409-102748002
Harry Wood makes a valuable tackle for Melton. EMN-170409-102748002
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The first league game of the new season started in bright sunshine as Melton RFC 1st XI entertained a side that had been tough opponents last year.

With Ollie Circuit making his league debut on the wing, the Melton pack put early pressure on the visitors at every set scrum.

The front row of Kieran Stone, Marcus Badham and Wayne Brookes gave their opposite numbers a particularly torrid time all afternoon as they simply had no answer other than to concede a string of penalties at virtually every scrum.

Melton’s first score came courtesy of a penalty try when the visitors’ front row buckled after a period of concerted pressure.

An area of concern for Melton last season had been the re-starts and it proved to be the case again when Old Scouts immediately attacked from the kick off and their second row scored a well worked try to level the scores. However, the home side responded well to this setback and Leon Gormley broke away to score an excellent try in the corner.

In what was proving to be a high paced game, the visitors countered with another try from a well worked overlap and moved into a two point lead.

Old Scouts continued to press with several waves of attacks but some stout defensive tackling from Ryan Kemp and Nick Crossland stifled their best efforts to break through.

A shoulder injury for Harry Wood saw him replaced replaced by Matt Cox.

In the run up to half time Old Scouts continued to concede a string of penalties as the Melton pack turned the screw, and the referee was left with little choice but to award a second penalty try to the home side and a yellow card for the Old Scouts prop.

At the start of the second half Melton should have taken advantage of the extra man but it was the visitors who added points when Melton gave away a soft penalty in front of the posts to reduce the deficit to two points at 19-17.

Melton reverted to route one, using the forwards’ power which ultimately proved effective when Sam Badham scored a well driven try and Matt Cox added the conversion to extend the home side’s lead.

Melton upped the tempo through some astute moves and slick handling from Chris Rose gave James Woolley enough room to leave the opposition trailing in his wake as he used his pace to score in the corner.

The game should have been well and truly over at this stage but Melton were far too generous.

In possession, Melton were guilty of some loose passing and from the resulting turn over the visitors made a strong break, only being thwarted by a stunning cover tackle from Ollie Circuit on his opposite winger. But the resulting scrum saw a turn over and a final try for the visitors.

It was a good start to the season for Melton but they will need to be more forceful in futre games to finish off sides in this division.