A howling gale and driving rain couldn’t deter Melton RFC Under 11s as they lined up for their biggest tournament of the season: the Landrover Cup.
The coaches stressed the importance of a quick start, and Trentham were blown away in game one by Melton’s committed rucking and quick hands.
The quick feet of Jeal and Dorsett put Melton 2-0 up before two lovely offloads from Neath and Mills sent Knott in for the third try. Knott’s ferocious tackle led to another try, as Mitchell recovered the loose ball quickly and recycled well to send Mitchell in at the corner.
Dorsett’s second try made a comfortable 5-0 half-time lead.
A complacent start to the second half allowed Trentham to pull a try back, but Hardman’s clever kick into the wind was chased down by Jeal who raced clear to cap a 6-1 win.
The second Pool A game was against the very physical and pacy cup holders Wymondham who led 1-0 at half-time thanks to dominant rucking.
But Knott’s perfectly-timed Knott pass freed Dorsett who sped down the wing to beat three players and level at 1-1.
Stern, determined tackling from Ford, Thorpe and Sharpe saw a tight game finish all-square to set up a deciding final game against Oakham, buoyed by a big home crowd.
Melton had the strong wind at their backs in the first half, but couldn’t break down Oakham’s well-organised defence.
Instead, despite some dogged last-ditch tackles, particularly from Cropper, the hosts crossed for the first score.
Heading into the second half behind and battling the breeze, Melton soon fell 2-0 down, and as the team tired, only Dorsett’s try-saving tackle prevented a third.
The boys battled to the last, and trooped off disappointed, but the coaches and supporters were unanimous in their praise and pride.