Melton Third XV break winless run at Birstall

Rugby SUS-150618-153239001
Rugby SUS-150618-153239001
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After a full eight matches without a win, Melton Thirds recorded an excellent result in awful conditions away to a gritty Birstall side.

As well as home advantage, Birstall also had the wind behind them for the longest second half the team can remember.

The hosts opened the scoring, but Melton forced their way back into the match as Fraser Gifford’s excellent field kicking gave them possession deep in the Birstall 22.

Pete Broughton, Phil Kerr and then Jordan Pawley drove home from short range to level the scores.

Strong running from Gary McCann, Dave Parton and Andy Towell set up a ruck for Stu Bowles to crash over from 20 metres out, Gifford adding his second conversion for a 14-7 lead.

With Melton in the ascendancy, Joe Berry ran well on the wing, as did Tom Clarke who ran onto Bowles’ superb pass to score out wide and make up for an earlier disallowed effort.

Holding a 19-7 lead at the break, the visitors had to defend for the first 20 minutes of the second half as Birstall battered away.

Matt Horne, at full-back, Luke Carter at hooker and the brilliant Josh Heyward all stood out in the second period, carrying and tackling as if their lives depended on it.

Eventually Melton broke out and from a scrum won by Dave McCarthy, Bowles cantered over for his second and Melton’s fourth try to seal a great win.

* Melton RFC are preparing for the annual Tom Neal Trophy match on Boxing Day (kick-off 2pm).

All proceeds will go to Cancer Research with the match having raised £8,000 over the years.

Post-match music will be provided by Howard Rose, from BBC TV’s The Voice.