Spirited Melton RFC outgunned by Newark in cup

Melton applied plenty of pressure in a never-say-die performance. Picture: Phil James EMN-191015-121530002
Melton applied plenty of pressure in a never-say-die performance. Picture: Phil James EMN-191015-121530002
0
Have your say

Melton RFC First XV were knocked out of the RFU Midlands Intermediate Cup despite an encouraging display at home to Newark on Saturday.

There were a few enforced changes for the second round tie, but the core of the side which had acquitted itself well the previous weekend started the match.

Melton make a break through Newark's reliable defensive wall EMN-191015-121519002

Melton make a break through Newark's reliable defensive wall EMN-191015-121519002

Old rivals Newark started the brighter as their heavier pack made inroads against the smaller Melton forwards.

It wasn’t long before the pressure told as the forwards rumbled up the slope.

Quick ball allowed the Newark fly-half to sell a dummy and scuttle over for the opening try which he also converted.

He then proceeded to do much the same again with a further try out wide and added the extras with a well-struck kick.

Melton upped the pace and put together some fine moves, with Jack Forfar and Sam Dennison to the fore.

However, in their eagerness to get back into the game, some sloppy passing brought a fumble in the Melton half and the Newark winger seized on a loose ball to dive over and make it 19-0.

The home side were not cowed by this and applied pressure on Newark, with Archie Hutchinson keeping the backs going with a good supply of ball.

A clever switch of direction by Chris Rose brought Ben Warwick up into the line, teeing up a jinxing run by Will Garrett.

But Garrett was injured as he dived for the line forcing a reshuffle in the backs and the welcome return of the talismanic Klay Radford who immediately brought some direct running into the centre.

The Newark defensive line held firm under pressure and a break-out by their large flanker made plenty of ground as he rode some ineffective tackling.

A clever switch in direction gave the visitors a two-man overlap and a further try.

Just before half-time Melton were very unlucky to be denied a try when the referee was unsighted as Simon Peters seemingly grounded the ball after a concerted forward effort.

The hosts started the second half very strongly looking to get back into the game.

Gutsy attacking play failed to break through and another spilled ball in midfield saw one of Newark’s South Sea Islander centres sprint away to score, with Cox converting.

The large Newark pack used their bulk to grind down the home forwards, despite some stern tackling by Dan Evans and Michael Holford.

A maul near the Melton line led to a close-range try, again converted, to give the visitors a comfortable cushion at 38-0.

In the past a lesser Melton side would have folded at this point, but to their credit they never gave up and were eventually rewarded.

A series of powerful drives by the forwards gave quick ball to the backs before slick handling gave Radford enough room to outpace the cover and dive over in the corner.

Harvey Green struck an excellent conversion from out wide to restore some pride.

Newark didn’t help their cause when their fly-half was yellow-carded for persistent infringements and Melton continued to throw everything into attack with a never-say-die attitude.

Only good defensive cover stifled Melton’s endeavour, and an over-ambitious miss pass in midfield was spotted by Newark’s other Fijian centre who outpaced the cover to race in for a try.

The last minute of the game saw a tiring Melton defence concede a try to add a gloss to the final score of 48-7.

Despite the defeat Melton can take heart from an encouraging display against a much heavier pack and overseas players.

It is back to Midlands Two East duty on Saturday with an away trip to Northamptonian Old Scouts (kick-off 3pm).