Melton RFC First XV sent out a much-changed side from the one fielded at Oundle the previous weekend, and found themselves up against one of Midlands One East’s best-drilled outfits.
The hosts started sluggishly against promotion-chasing Paviors and conceded early points, but fought their way back into the contest without being able to convert pressure into any points.
Paviors had a huge pacey back row and looked very impressive in open play, as Melton did well to turn round only 38 points down.
During the second period, captain Leon Gormley and utility forward Tom Allen were magnificent in stemming the tide, ably helped by the ever-improving younger players Harry Eley, Harvey Green and Harry Wood, all on their way back to full fitness after significant injuries.
Coach Gareth Collins entered the match later on and gave the back line much-needed shape and direction as the home side started to play with confidence.
Paviors added another try before Melton had their best spell, mounting several attacks on the visitors’ line.
But each time the Nottingham side turned the ball over and scored on the counter-attack.
The last play of the game saw a great passage of play from Collins, Rose, Garnett, Wood and Green put Melton on the Paviors line, but the visitors stole possession from the ruck and scored themselves to cap a 68-0 win and deny the hosts a deserved score.
On Saturday, the Firsts head to Peterborough or their penultimate league fixture and will no doubt give it everything, as they have done since the Christmas break.
* Melton RFC Vets overwhelmed Leicester Forest 69-12 on Saturday to reach the Vets County Cup semi-finals.
The hosts fielded a very strong side with captain Gavin Prior in the front row and props James Stapleford and Dave Osborne who were both magnificent.
Dave Meakin and Dave Barrett added power and pace in the engine room, while the back row of Wayne Brookes, Adam Chambers and Matt Brooks supported, tackled and carried as if their lives depended on it.
The match was over as a contest after the first scrum, as Leicester Forest were forced back at a rate of knots, and Melton scored two early ties as the pack showed their collective strength.
Unfortunately the pack’s power lead to the props being injured after their third try, meaning uncontested scrums from then on.
Melton’s backs joined the party, enjoying fast ball from Duncan Lennox and directed by Mark Matthews, while crash ball centres Sam Clemmons and Darren Farrish always made ground and wingers Paul Blagburn and Adam Underwood thrived.
Gareth Collins injected the pace from full-back to complete the most talented squad the Vets have put out in some time.
Melton were 45-0 up at half-time and scored 11 tries in total, with Clemmons converting seven.
LFE gamely stuck to their task by scoring one goal and a try as Melton rang the changes and switched off for five minutes after the break.
Brookes touched down for a hat-trick, Blagburn and Clemmons added a brace apiece, while Prior, Matthews, and Paul Monterano crossed before Meakin charged half-the-pitch for the crowning score after exchanging passes with Monterano.
Melton will be hoping the same squad will be available for the semi-final at Leicester Lions on Saturday, April 27 when all support will be welcome.