Midlands 3 East: Melton RFC thrash Lincoln in top-of-the-table clash

Lincoln try in vain to stop another Melton forwards drive EMN-150119-121545002
Lincoln try in vain to stop another Melton forwards drive EMN-150119-121545002
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Melton underlined their superiority in Midlands 3 East (North) by thrashing the team which began the day as their nearest rivals.

The scoreline was in contrast to the reverse fixture which was a close and feisty encounter only won by Melton with a second half increase in tempo.

The visitors started strongly, intent on making their mark early with some strong running from forwards and backs, but Melton’s defence held firm.

Phil Stimson looked to have missed the chance to put the hosts ahead when his penalty rebounded off the upright, but as Lincoln ran the ball back, a crunching tackle disrupted the move and Stimson snaffled an interception try.

Another try followed soon after when a loose kick out of defence was well fielded by Chris Williams who fed Carl Prior on the burst. Stimson was up in support and his trademark jinking run shredded the defence before Prior took the scoring pass. Stimson converted.

Slick handling between Sam Badham and Bobby Prior then gave Stimson an easy run-in for a try in the corner.

Melton were playing with gusto despite losing captain Marcus Badham to an ankle injury. And from a quick forward drive following Ryan Kemp’s lineout steal, Lewis Glover spotted the run of Carl Prior who took the pass at pace, and side-stepped the floundering defence to score a wonderful converted try under the posts.

Lincoln had no answer to the pressure from the dominant forwards with Dan Wakefield and Dave Osborn making smart breaks. Yet another drive steamrollered Lincoln’s pack and Stimson darted over before adding the conversion for a 31-0 lead.

There was still more to come before half-time when Sam Grindey’s high ball was allowed to bounce and Lewis Glover raced on to the loose ball. Leon Gormley’s excellent speed and hand-off allowed him to score with Stimson adding the extras.

With the game won, coach Gareth Collins made several changes at half-time. Nick Crossland made an immediate impact, well supported by James Long, but Melton took time to settle.

Nevertheless the hosts were first to score when Crossland burst through several tackles to score with a powerful run from deep. Stimson put over another well-struck conversion.

Adam Chambers made a welcome return to bolster the back row, but Lincoln were determined not to roll over and replied with two well-worked tries.

Melton were stung into action and used their superior fitness to increase the pace. Klay Radford and Ben Warwick combined well to cause plenty of problems, and Crossland added the muscle with some storming runs.

Chambers fed Wayne Brooks, backing up well, who scored a scintillating try with Stimson again adding the extras.

A slick backs move saw the ball transferred quickly through the hands by Goose, Grindey and Radford before Warwick added pace and fed Williams on the wing to dart over for a final try.

Melton: B. Prior, M. Badham, D. Osborn, S. Badham, W. Brooks, D. Wakefield, R. Kemp, L. Gormley, L. Glover, S. Grindey, C. Williams, C. Prior, K. Radford, P. Stimson, B. Warwick, J. Long, N. Crossland, A. Chambers.