Melton RFC First XV travelled to title-chasing Kettering side for a rearranged fixture, buoyed by their home win the previous Saturday.
But again they had many injuries and unavailability in a restructured team, and putting a team out was a huge factor and none more so tan in the front row where Kettering hold all the aces.
Yet club stalwart Wayne Greaves had a fantastic match playing the full 80 minutes in the front row against a team who wanted the bonus-point win to go top.
Fortunately Greaves’ resolve, knowhow and ability kept Melton in the contest as long as possible.
Kettering claimed two early scores before Adam Woolley seized a loose ball, danced around four tackles and scored a brilliant try to lift Melton.
Harvey Green converted and Melton held on at 14-7 until Kettering made continuity pay to build a 36-7 lead at the break.
The hosts clearly wanted to put a big score on the visitors, but Jack Forfar was in the thick of the action to disrupt many fluent attacks.
Two more scores were conceded before Gareth Collins’ lovely chip was collected by Will Garnett to score out wide. Green’s brilliant conversion gave Melton a deserved 14 points.
Ollie Circuit continued to press, but couldn’t prevent two more scores after some scintillating back play from the hosts, built on solid forward play.
Kettering scored in the last minute as Melton battled to the end and should take heart from a good team performance against the leaders, with Greaves at the heart of it.