Depleted Melton RFC under 12s warmed up for the County Cup final with one of their best performances at Newark on Sunday.
Facing a huge squad, Melton arrived without eight players through absence or injury, leaving a squad of only 11, two of whom were carrying minor injuries.
Melton quickly fell two tries behind in the opening game against the strong, pacey hosts.
But Melton’s character shone as Attewell tore down the wing to score in the corner before Hardman levelled with a forceful drive.
The visitors soon went ahead when Snodin, one of Melton’s most improved players, held off two players to touch down. Attewell extended the lead after Sharpe’s great rucking had won the turnover and Dickson’s quick hands created a gap.
Thorpe’s great strength earned the next score after Ford’s brilliant tackle won turnover ball, and full-back Dorsett wrapped up a majestic 6-2 win with a barnstorming run from his own 22.
Refreshed by substitutions, Newark started the second game fast and again went ahead as their full-back collected his own clever kick to score.
Dickson levelled after great work from Ford and clever team passing, but Newark’s biggest player twice broke through tired tackles for a 3-1 lead.
Sheer determination kept Melton in it, as Cropper’s great run and pass opened a gap for Attewell whose great hands fed Dorsett to dive over for the try of the day.
Newark simply couldn’t cope with Hardman after half-time and his bulldozing run made it 3-3. Hardman’s quick tap penalty saw him glide the ball out wide to Jeal who scored in the corner.
Two missed tackles saw Newark equalise, but from the restart, Dorsett returned the ball 30 metres, before Sharpe flipped the ball out to Hardman who beat two defenders to score.
Melton’s nemesis made it 5-5 , but Melton got the crucial score on the last play. A good team drive took them 20 metres, before Knott freed Dickson, and a lovely move was finished with panache by Sharpe to secure a memorable 6-5 win.
* Melton RFC under 10s hosted Hinckley in windy conditions on Sunday.
They faced a team who were strong in the rucks and passing, and the visitors prevailed in the three matches 10-1, 5-2, 10-1 despite some good defensive play from the home side.