Melton RFC bounced back from defeat at the leaders by leapfrogging opponents Northampton Old Scouts into third place.
Scouts arrived in third spot and with only one defeat in five, but it took just two minutes of the game for Melton to hit the front.
Wayne Brooks made great inroads to release Kieran Stone for a darting mazy run in under the post from 20 metres. Matt Cox converted.
A lineout infringement gave Scouts a penalty which they slotted over for 7-3.
But the hosts went back on the offensive following some great possession and territorial work by the pack, again led by captain Marcus Badham. The ball moved through Duncan Lennox and then Gareth Collins to Harvey Green who kicked a measured punt to the corner.
From the lineout Scouts conceded a penalty, and with Melton’s pack dominating, a scrum was called. A textbook eight-man drive then made it an easy pick up and score for Kieran Bugby.
Sam Badham caught the restart and drove back at Scouts, setting up quick ball for Lee Miller and James Newman to drive forward and put Melton on the front foot again.
With secure ball, Duncan Lennox released Cox who then found Carl Prior. He picked a fantastic line to break through and darted in from 23 metres.
As the power of the pack forced more infringements, the referee had no other choice but to produce a yellow card for the Scouts number three.
Melton ran in their fourth try and secure the bonus point within 28 minutes.
Quick hands in Melton RFC’s own 22 from player-coach Collins released Green for a charge upfield to the halfway line.
A measured chip and chase over the Scouts defence saw Green dive over for a well-worked individual try to forge a commanding 22-3 lead at half-time.
Scouts came out all guns blazing in the second half and did everything they could to try and break down the home XV.
But strong defence and tackling from Lee Miller and the outstanding Leon Gormley kept Scouts at bay.
Collins had the best chance, darting and dancing his way through the Northampton defence only to knock the ball on as he was trying to release the supporting players for a certain try.
Scouts responded with a great interception pass to run the length of the pitch. They were chased down by the impressive Woolley, but the support play earned Scouts a deserved try.
Newman, making his first Melton start, made great inroads through the Scouts defence with some fine work through the middle of the park, resulting in another penalty.
Cox kicked to the right touchline for a lineout, and Sam Badham’s great leap gave quick ball to Chris Rose who passed to Cox. He looped a pass to the opposite wing for Green to dance and drive through for his second try. Cox’s conversion capped the scoring at 29-8.
This response and result was just what coach Collins would have wanted going into a fortnight’s break.
Melton: Stone, M. Badham, Brooks, S. Badham, Newman, Gormley, Miller, Bugby, Lennox, Cox, Woolley, Prior, Collins, Green, Matthews, Rose, Chambers, Stapleford.