Melton RFC give high-flying Peterborough tough test

Harvey Green was forced off with a first-half hamstring injury EMN-180123-094349002
Harvey Green was forced off with a first-half hamstring injury EMN-180123-094349002
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Head coach Gareth Collins was given plenty of positives to take into this weekend’s derby clash despite suffering defeat at high-flying Peterborough.

Melton RFC entertain old foes Syston on Saturday, hoping to stop the league leaders’ 14-match winning run and make amends for the reverse fixture when a severely depleted side were easily dispatched.

Melton head coach Gareth Collins EMN-180123-094532002

Melton head coach Gareth Collins EMN-180123-094532002

Last weekend, Melton headed south once more to take on in-form Peterborough who were sitting fourth in Midlands One East before kick-off on the back of three big wins.

And the game proved to be a predictably tough encounter with swirling wind and rain playing havoc with the flow of the match.

Melton took the kick-off and a good floated ball was contested in the air by both sides, with Peterborough coming out with the ball and driving upfield with slick work and power.

Melton did well to stop their progress and force them into touch on the halfway line.

But having won a lineout, Peterborough released quick ball to the fly-half who kicked with the wind and slope to the oncoming winger to dive over for the first try after seven minutes.

The visitors regrouped and the game soon developed into a hard-fought contest in the middle of the park where Sam Badham led by example with some big hits.

Sadly it was Melton who were penalised at the scrum and the hosts opted for points, but they missed as the score remained 5-0 after 15 minutes.

The visitors created good running opportunities, but sadly the killer pass was missing to create any chance of a try at the other end.

After 25 minutes Melton were forced into a change when Harvey Green’s hamstring went and he hobbled off.

And in the next phase of play, the visitors were penalised for not rolling away at the ruck.

Peterborough took a quick penalty and caught the visitors unaware to run under the posts for an easy converted try and a 12-0 half-time lead.

Melton were quick out the blocks in the second half with great scrum work, led by captain Marcus Badham and his two excellent young props, Loveday and Christian Jeremiah, as the visitors strived for some momentum.

The lineout was working with Long, Wakefield and Badham mixing things up, and everything in the loose was collected and driven forward by Dennison and Gormley.

But still all the early pressure could not be converted into points and it was Peterborough who got the next breakthrough, intercepting a pass for an easy run in from the halfway line (19-0).

Soon after Melton were given encouragement when Peterborough had a man sent to the bin for 10 minutes, and the visitors took advantage with a great lineout on the 22.

Wakefield took clean ball to set up a drive which ended with a converted penalty try after more infringements.

With the score at 19-7, the game remained in the balance heading into the last quarter, but just as Melton had given themselves a route back, Wakefield was sinbinned for the last 10 minutes.

And Peterborough had the final say with a well-worked chip over the top for the winger to dive over in the last minute and clinch a bonus-point win.

Lots of hard work will be needed this week ahead of Saturday’s local derby which will also double as the club’s next Vice-President’s Day.

Kick-off at Burton Road is 2.15pm.