Melton RFC Veterans XV were the bridesmaids once more as they fell to another slender County Cup final defeat at Market Bosworth on Saturday.
Having narrowly lost last season’s vets final, Melton were pipped 12-10 in a tight match against a very strong Hinckley side.
Playing down the slope, Melton had to defend for the opening 20 minutes, with Tony Berry and Adam Chambers to the fore.
Hinckley scored a try out wide after several forward drives to lead 5-0, but the remaining 15 minutes belonged to Melton after a great break from Mark Matthews and Adam Underwood put Melton in a great position, deep in Hinckley territory.
Strong runs from Rich Meakin, Pete Broughton and Wayne Brookes were all stopped short, and several penalties from scrummages should have produced some reward.
But Hinckley had the nouse to prevent a score with no punishment issued, despite several infringements.
The second half was a pulsating affair with Melton pressing hard for a score.
And after some great runs from the outstanding Dave Osborne, Gav Prior and Paul Blagburn, a penalty, converted by the reliable Sam Clemons, put Melton back in the game.
An unfortunate knock-on from the restart gave Hinckley the impetus and they scored a soft try to lead 12-3.
Melton were not done, however, and some fantastic play from Wayne Greaves, Matt Brooks and Tom Kempin put them in Hinckley’s 22.
But Melton were often penalised, allowing their opponents to clear their lines.
Stuart Kempin made a huge impact at the scrum, and should really have come on earlier, but his presence led to a scrum pushover try, dotted down by Greaves.
Clemons added the conversion to reduce the deficit to 12-10.
Yet Hinckley held their nerve from the kick-off as the ball drifted into touch leaving Melton on the wrong end of another close-fought match after a great game.