Melton RFC ease past Vipers to go eight points clear

Vipers make a rare break against a dominant Melton EMN-151222-092052002
Vipers make a rare break against a dominant Melton EMN-151222-092052002
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Melton produced an excellent game of running rugby to repeat their Midlands Senior Vase final victory over Vipers.

Hot on the heels of successive wins against title rivals Lutterworth and Market Harborough, this bonus point victory opened an eight-point lead in Midlands Two East (South) at the halfway stage of the season.

Melton 46-5 Vipers EMN-151222-092104002

Melton 46-5 Vipers EMN-151222-092104002

Melton began with real vigour, launching waves of co-ordinated attacks, particularly through the forwards.

Vipers defended well against the early onslaught, but had no answer to a trademark catch and drive from a lineout. Ryan Kemp set up the rolling maul which drove the opposition back at will and Marcus Badham was there to score.

The second try soon arrived when props Wayne Brookes and Bobby Prior caused huge problems from a set scrum to give Chris Rose a comfortable platform to whip the ball out. Mark Matthews timed his run from full-back to perfection as a miss-move gave Harvey Green an easy overlap to score out wide. Matt Cox’s conversion made it 12-0.

Vipers stuck to the task, but struggled to contain Melton’s slick passing and astute reading of the game. When the visitors infringed, Melton opted for another lineout, and using a short throw, Leon Gormley darted round the front and popped a sublime pass to Marcus Badham who dived over from close range.

Melton 46-5 Vipers EMN-151222-092039002

Melton 46-5 Vipers EMN-151222-092039002

Vipers lost a player to a yellow card when a dangerous high tackle left Harry Wood dazed and needing treatment.

Chris Williams came on to the wing before the influential Ryan Kemp sustained a nasty knee injury and was replaced by Phil Cowey.

A loose defensive kick was well caught by Williams and Mark Matthews was in support to take the final pass and score out wide.

Wayne Brookes joined in the fun with a run from deep as Gormley read the play well to dive over out wide. Another fine Cox conversion established a comfortable 29-0 half-time lead.

It would have been easy for Melton to sit back, but they began the second half with a sublime try.

Matthews was well positioned to take a tricky clearance kick and side-stepping several attempted tackles before slipping the ball to Williams. He linked well with Wood before Williams was tackled deep in Vipers territory.

But Gormley was there to sprint clear for a stunning score under the posts, Cox adding the simple conversion.

Vipers continued to doggedly tackle everything against some excellent running rugby with Klay Radford having another fine game in the centre.

And when Gormley ripped possession away from the visitors, he found Richard Foster on the charge who spun a pass out wide to Wood and the winger left the defence trailing with a remarkable turn of pace for another try.

Vipers’ pack earned a consolation try from a well-worked rolling maul, fully deserved for their efforts in a lost cause.

Dave Osborne added his guile at prop as the front row continued to dominate their opposite numbers and set up a final excellent team try.

Marcus Badham smuggled the ball back to Rose from a rolling maul and he gave Matt Cox quick ball to dummy his way past the covering back row.

Lewis Moult was on his shoulder and Matthews added his pace again before Wood served up a delicious feint inside and an outside break at pace to leave the tacklers clutching at thin air.