Melton’s interest in the County Second XV Cup ended at Oadby after a great game between two teams of differing strengths.
The visitors boasted a strong scrum linked to their forwards’ driving play, while Oadby had the quicker backs and forwards who harried and generally made a nuisance of themselves at the breakdown.
Melton were well beaten by this team last season and this was a vast improvement in effort and performance. Melton missed an early penalty and then fell 14-0 behind to a well-worked try by the Wyggs backs and a penalty try after a trip.
Melton hit straight back and pressure by Meakin and Sims led to Webster scoring. Warwick added the conversion.
Haywood was everywhere in the loose, making a nuisance of himself alongside Evans who got back to make a try-saving tackle. Melton’s dominant scrum pushed Oadby all round the park, but when Haywood was held up in an attacking five-metre scrum, Oadby went the length of the pitch to make it 21-7.
Quick thinking by Greaves from a penalty and good hands saw Osbourne go over and Warwick’s second conversion made it 21-14 at half-time.
Melton began to shut down the opposing backs with good tackles by Forfar, Freestone, Broughton and Farish, while runs from Cowey, Meakin and Broughton began to sap their will. But the hosts restored their two-try buffer at 28-14.
Melton were not out of it and the replacements of Martarano, Parton, Stewart and Dennison made a difference. Parton’s sweeping length-of-the-pitch run was halted, and Martarano’s blindside break gained metres, while Dennison tackled well and two of his pick and drives were excellent.
Melton’s hard work paid off when Meakin bumped off two tackles and went over for a try converted by Warwick.
The final five minutes were frantic and the game ended with Melton camped five metres from the line.
Melton: Sims, Webster, Osbourne, Stewart, P. Broughton, Martarano, Cowey, Evans, Haywood, Meakin, Dennison, Greaves, Farish, Forfar, Freestone, A. Broughton, Parton, Clarke, Warwick.