Melton RFC will hope the three-week mid-season break will give their depleted squad time to heal as they fell to another heavy defeat on Saturday.
The First XV shipped 40 points in the first half on their way to a 52-3 defeat at Towcestrians and sit bottom without a win from 14 games in Midlands East One.
Melton headed to Towcester in good spirits despite travelling yet again with a depleted squad due to injuries and unavailability.
The average age of the team is around the 22 mark and rely heavily on the experience of Chris Rose, Wayne Brooks and Duncan Lennox who has returned following a lengthy spell out with concussion.
All deserve a special mention for their continued effort and enthusiasm in the face of a highly challenging season which has seen others jump ship prematurely.
George Kaczmarczyk, making his debut for the first team, showed many promising qualities, tackling his heart out and breaking the line with strong running, and is likely to figure again, hopefully with a stronger framework around him.
Melton conceded forty points in the first half as the home side made the most of the atrocious conditions, with handling at a premium, but they dominated the set piece and loose.
The second half, however, will give head coach Gareth Collins cause for hope in the new year as Melton stuck to their task diligently despite the scoreline.
Lennox entered the fray and added much-needed nouse at the breakdown, slowing the ball down and turning over several rucks and tackles.
Brooks put a fine shift in at tight head despite a sore back, while Leon Gormley made the most of space in midfield, but the team desperately need him in the back row.
Rose kicked a penalty as the home side killed the ball again to prevent a score which has been a feature of the league as points are chased.
Melton concede only 12 further points which hints at an admirable attitude and bodes well for the remaining league fixtures.
The team return to league action against Wellingborough on Saturday, January 5 (kick-off 2.15pm) at their Burton Road headquarters.
All support is welcome.