Melton RFC First XV’s troubled start to the season continued on Saturday as they went scoreless in a heavy home defeat to Lutterworth.
Looking for their first Midlands One East win of the season at the sixth attempt, Melton were again without several key players who were either injured or unavailable for various reasons.
When confidence is low and players aren’t there to fill the void, disaster often strikes and the result was another loss against a competent team, if not a better one, who were more together and up for the contest.
The hosts were two scores down before they realised they were sleepwalking to defeat.
Some great runs from Adam Woolley, Ollie Circuit and Gareth Collins unfortunately ended with nothing to show, but things were looking better.
Melton’s front row dominated the scrums, with Wayne Brooks rolling back the years with some outstanding play, but lineouts were hit-and-miss as Lutterworth lived offside, but collectively so were never fully penalised.
Melton then conceded possession twice to allow Lutterworth to extend their lead to 24 points.
An attack on the visitors line saw Lee Millar, Dan Evans and Tom Allen to the fore with a series of forward drives, but with the line beckoning the ball went wide of the breakdown and the moment was lost.
It was the latest chance to go begging, and a score at this time would have been useful.
The second half, played up the slope, was an even affair with both teams having good spells of possession.
Lutterworth used loose ball well, while Melton attacked from deep, particularly through Brooks, Millar and Luke Pawley who put in a man-of-the-match second half.
This gave Duncan Lennox more time to make decisions and he used it wisely.
The visitors scored a soft try through midfield when the centres split, but back came Melton through Woolley who won a chase after a kick set up a great chance, but Lutterworth were smart at the breakdown and the chance was turned over.
Lessons must be learned quickly as few second chances are offered in Midlands One.
The visitors completed the scoring right on the whistle while Melton were reduced to 14, again rather harshly, from a rebound ball in the scrum.
But credit goes to the Lutterworth winger who picked up off his toes and crossed in the corner despite the tigerish efforts of Lennox to prevent the score.
Lutterworth were very happy with the result and though they deserved the win, Melton must go back to training and lick their wounds, while also taking heart from some great passages of play which should have brought points.
A win is much needed and it could come at West Bridgford on Friday evening where support will be very welcome.