Melton gained revenge for their 50-0 thumping at Grantham last season with their 12th league victory of the season on Saturday.
The meeting was an enjoyable game between two good sides, both high in the league, but motivation was with Melton after last season’s result.
The visitors started the game well, pressurising their hosts with strong and direct running.
Typical example of their play was Duncan Lennox’s break and kick ahead after 10 minutes. A foul on Phil Stimpson, backing up well, resulted in a penalty try which Stimpson converted.
Continued strong running maintained the pressure on Kesteven who conceded numerous penalties in an opening 15 minutes which was all Melton.
Thereafter Kesteven raised their game, showing themselves as a running side with fast three-quarters and a number eight who penetrated well.
It was Melton’s turn to give away penalties and after 20 minutes the score was 7-3 when Kesteven punished one of these indiscretions with the boot.
The visitors then took the initiative, and play for the remainder of the first half was all in Kesteven’s half.
But good defence and strong tackling prevented Melton from adding to their lead, and at half-time, the score remained at 7-3.
In the second half Melton continued to hold the initiative, and made it count after 10 minutes when Carl Prior broke through three tackles and outran the Kesteven defence to score a good try. Stimpson’s conversion took Melton’s lead beyond one score at 14-3.
Another Stimpson penalty midway through the half took Melton’s lead to two converted tries at 17–3.
Bobby Prior was replaced at prop by Wayne Brooks with Nick Crossland coming into the second row.
By this time one could not see Melton losing as their game plan dominated with direct, forward running with good offloading and support when the tackle came.
Kesteven ran wide, so when tackled they had lost support and the attack failed, usually before reaching the gain line.
Credit here went to good defence from Melton’s back row and centres.
In the final 15 minutes, with Melton well on top, Chris Williams nearly scored after a good break.
From the ensuing ruck, Dan Whitfield went over to seal a good win and restore honour after last year’s defeat.