Away victory sends Melton Mowbray back to top spot

Spalding RUFC 22 Melton Mowbray RUFC 30

Wednesday, 27th October 2021, 1:41 pm
Updated Wednesday, 27th October 2021, 1:42 pm
Melton are back on top.

Melton travelled away to deepest Lincolnshire on Saturday and won a topsy turvy match 30-22, which took them to the top of the Midlands 3 East (South), writes Anthony Middleton.

But they gave the large touchline support some anxious moments before the win was sealed.

In truth, the visitors were the better side, with the home side looking tired well before half time.

Melton, though, must look to improve in three key areas; from kick offs, exit strategy and not giving soft penalties away.

All these only served to keep the hosts in the game for longer than necessary and Melton really should have won the game by 20 points, not without a bonus point.

But a win away from home is always a bonus and with the squad developing a sense of regularity, coach Mike Holford must be pleased with the training regime he is putting into place.

Melton were good value for a nine-point lead courtesy of the boot of Harvey Green, although but for an aversion from the skipper it could have been seven more.

Some outstanding defence from James Cavanah, Chris Rose and Jack Forfar kept the home side out for most of the latter part of the first period but too many poor decisions went against Melton, although they were culpable themselves.

Eventually the defences were breached and Spalding put themselves back into the mix with seven points just before half time.

The score gave them a little bit of belief and they put together a couple of passages of play which resulted in a kickable penalty and the lead for five minutes at 9-10.

Melton attacked from the kick off and great carries from George Kaczmarczyk, Luke Pawley and Ben Warwick resulted in a line out.

Forward drives saw the outstanding Karl McGee bulldoze over from short range and Green landed the touchline conversion for a 16-10 lead.

Melton then played some free flowing straight line running with great carries from Dan Evans and Franco whilst, a superb chip from Rose caused panic in the home defence.

Melton opted to scrum from the penalty and three penalties later with a deliberate collapse on the line, Melton’s front row union of Luke Pawley, James Cavanah and the promising Harry Eley pulverised the opposition scrum over the line for McGee to touch down.

Green again added the conversion and a 23-10 lead.

Melton then went into panic stations, failing to clear their lines and giving really soft possession away.

Even Spalding couldn’t fail to score although they tried, but aided by the man in the middle and Melton’s indiscipline, score they did and worse was to follow as from the kick off the visitors coughed up another score, albeit a contentious one.

But at 22-23 Spalding were back in the match, only the missed conversion separating the teams.

The final 10 minutes was probably the most frenetic played this season.

Melton defended like Trojans, very disciplined.

A great turnover from Green a carry from Franco and the boot of Rose put Melton on Spalding’s line.

The catch and drive was almost textbook with Spalding splintered and offside back row man Sam Dennison squeezed and stretched to get the ball down.

A deserved try and Green’s conversion put the visitors 30-22 up.

A Spalding penalty drifted harmlessly wide as they tried to salvage a bonus point but Melton finished on top.

A little more composure could have produced a fourth try right at the end but Spalding we’re happy to get the ball off the field and Melton we’re able to celebrate in style.

This was a good win against stout opposition, but there well be tougher tests in the future.

Melton host old foes Stewart’s and Lloyd’s from Corby this Saturday.

All support is welcome at the Melton Vale Site (KO 3pm).

Syston won 26-14 at Burton in the Midlands Premier on Saturday.

They currently sit sixth in the table and entertain Sandbach this weekend