Melton RFC Under 13s produced an outstanding performance, buoyed by great support from the parents on home soil, to reach the next round of the County Cup.
The club’s mini and junior section hosted the county cup preliminary festival for the third time, with competitions at every age group from under 13s down to under 8s.
The under 13s faced several strong teams they had already played this in perfect conditions for running rugby which suited the home side.
Right from the kick-off against local rivals Loughborough, and Melton coach Bowles’ home town, it was clear Melton meant business with some crunching tackles and strong runs.
It turned out to be a close encounter with Melton edging it 1-0 thanks to a try from Jo Spencer-Arnold.
After an hour’s break Melton took on an Ashby team which looked impressive in their opening game.
However, the hosts came through by six tries to one with scores from Jake Morley, Henry Keightley, Jack Bailey, Will Hardy and a brace from the impressive Archie Parrott.
The tries came thanks to strong runs from Will Bowles, Ellis Gunter and Eddie Dicken, while Will Brookes and Jo Frith kept Ashby’s defence on their toes throughout.
Next opponents Coalville had cried off the week before, unable to raise a team, and this was a one-sided game.
Melton won 5-3 with tries from Keightley, Spencer-Arnold, Hugo Illingworth and another brace from Parrott as the hosts used all of the pitch, putting into practice what they have been working on in training.
There was also excellent attacking rugby by Alex Curtis, Jamie Archibald, Louis Birch and Archie Burbidge.
The last game was against Lutterworth, who were also unbeaten, in what turned out to be an end-to-end match with impressive rugby from both teams.
Lutterworth scored first, but Melton never gave up and with wave after wave of attacks they finally levelled when Kameron Shohota crashed over.
The try spurred the home team on even more and once again they were on the attack, and Melton so nearly stole the game at the end.
A break from Spencer-Arnold saw his toes hit the touchline prior to grounding the ball, and quite rightly the referee didn’t award the try. A fair result.
* Melton RFC Under 12s, in their first season of 12-a-side, did a brilliant job in the county prelims against very strong sides.
The hosts had no substitutes and were playing on a bigger pitch, but their teamwork and support for each other was evident, especially when one of them had done well.
Melton didn’t win overall, but avenged heavy defeats at the hands of Coalville with a morale-boosting win.
Overall a very good day of rugby for the boys.