Table toppers Melton Mowbray make it three straight wins against Rushden and Higham
Melton Mowbray RUFC 40 Rushden and Higham RUFC 11
Table toppers Melton Mowbray' s First XV continued their fine start to the new season with a resounding win over a much-fancied Rushden outfit, writes Anthony Middleton.
This 40-11 victory built on the demolition of Northampton Men’s Own RFC in the first match of the season by 30-odd points and a narrow but dogged result away from home just down the road at Bedford Queens RFC.
Playing their third league match on the bounce and winning all three is a testament to the hard work coach Mike Halford has put into the squad over the last 18 months and the loyalty he has shown to the club, despite the rigours of Covid.
He has galvanised the young squad into a more pragmatic side aided and abetted by older heads in Karl McGee, Leon Gormley and Jack Forfar, who have been magnificent as a back row unit.
Young skipper Harvey Green has started to manage the games with maturity and when the potential in his backs comes to fruition, the sky’s the limit.
The Garnett brothers are fliers on the wing, Aiden Smith is a strong runner alongside Franco in the centre and Harry Cank’s blistering pace and side step comes in handy whereever he may play.
The match on Saturday was an entertaining affair well refereed by John Hill, who handled the new law changes with considered authority.
Melton were dominant in the first half with three penalties knocked over by Harvey Green after several missed attempts at scoring a try due to the opposition being offside.
The second half was breathless, a real rollercoaster of a contest.
Melton nudged ahead with two tries through George Kaczmarczyk and Sam Dennison.
Green intercepted a counter attack to score under the posts and add his third conversion to take the score up to 30.
Fair play to Rushden after landing an earlier penalty they knocked another they were back briefly in the game.
That was until Harry Cank fielded the ball in his own half, beat three players, jinked and scored a brilliant individual try.
That was game over really with just enough time for Melton to cough up the ball again from the kick off for Rushden to score a consolation try, followed by another well-worked try out wide after a line out which saw forward rumbles to the line and a gleeful Max Buckley to drive over for his first senior try.
Breathless, chaotic stuff, but a very well deserved win.
Melton Firsts will return to action on October 23 at Spalding.