Powerhouse show from forwards sets up win

Melton RFC 1st XI EMN-171127-133824002
Melton RFC 1st XI EMN-171127-133824002
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It was back to league action this week as Melton hosted a side close to them in the league but with a slightly better record.

That made it an important game for both sides to consolidate their respective positions.

Melton made the worst possible start. Cold hands may well have contributed to a bad fumble in midfield with Leighton Buzzard pouncing on the mistake to hack on deep into home territory.

Adam Woolley managed to scramble the ball into touch but from the ensuing line out the visitors set up a well organised catch and drive to open the scoring.

The response from Melton was almost immediate when the forwards set up a rolling maul and quick ball from Chris Rose gave room for Matt Cox to stroll over unchallenged to open the home sides account. He then added the conversion.

The first scrum of the day saw the Melton drive the visitors’ pack back and Marcus Badham won the ball against the head to give Chris Rose a straight forward try.

Leighton Buzzard were soon on level terms when the full back timed his run into the line well from a rehearsed move to score near the posts. The conversion levelled the scores at 12-12.

Melton needed to make their forward power count and, when awarded a penalty close to the opposition line, they called for a scrum rather than take the penalty and from the ensuing drive Kieran Bugby scored a forward’s try, to give Melton a 17-12 half time lead.

With the visitors trying to open after the interval, Henry Kaz caught a superb interception and race half the length of the pitch to score a stunning try. Matt Cox added the conversion and followed this up with an easy penalty to increase Melton’s advantage to 27-12.

Leighton Buzzard pulled a try back before Sam Badham powered over for a fine individual try.

Maintaining the pressure the forwards continued to make their superiority count with the two back rows, Dan Wakefield and Leon Gormley, having a field day in both attack and defence.

A thwarted Melton drive ended with Sam Dennison diving over a pile of bodies to score.

The game continued to ebb and flow as Leighton Buzzard were determined not to let the game slip away from them. Some loose tackling from Melton allowed them to score an opportunist try to reduce the deficit.

Melton didn’t help their cause when Cox received a yellow card and an enforced ten minutes on the sidelines for reckless play.

However, Melton decided to keep the ball tight amongst the forwards and a well worked blindside break from the maul set up Adam Woolley for a try in the corner.

The final few minutes were played out without Dan Wakefield after he was shown a yellow card.

Leighton Buzzard used the extra man advantage to score the final try of an entertaining game that gave Melton valuable league points from a gutsy team display, with the outstanding Kieran Stone the man of the match.

Melton: K Stone, M Badham, L Pawley, J Long, S Badham, L Gormley, K Bugby, D Wakefield, C Rose, W Helliwell, O Circuit, M Cox, H Green, A Woolley, J White, S Dennison, C Jeremiah, H Kaz