MELTON Vets travelled to one of their strongest fixtures of the season with a makeshift side containing only seven regulars.
All the hard work finally paid of as Melton RFC under 10s picked up their first trophy on the final day of the season by winning the County Festival Shield at Hinckley.
The first game against Loughborough B saw Melton on fire as they ran in five tries to nil. Hoby Braithwaite notched up a superb hat-trick and other scorers were Ryan Beeforth with a debut try and Adam Woolley.
Second up were a much-fancied Coalville side that lived up to their billing. Good defending by the whole team, and in particular Sam Dennison, managed to keep the scores level at the interval. Coalville won three quick scrums close to the Melton line and with a minute to go they scored the only try of the game.
Melton needed to win their next game against Syston to make it through to the Shield semi-final. Straight from the off Fred Measom drove deep into Syston's half with good support from the backs, and Braithwaite scored the first try. Melton continued to press and soon scored a second following another good drive, this time by Rowan Dodge, Harry Johnstone touching down.
Semi-final opponents were Oadby Wyggs and Melton started the liveliest. Jack Kemp showed the way with some solid tackling and a good run, and Braithwaite finally scored on the stroke of half-time. Another strong second-half performance ensued with good tackling by Michael Riley before Woolley sealed a place in the final after another scrum.
The final was against Loughborough A. Melton were again the strongest but conceded only their second try of the tournament from a breakaway. They stepped up a gear and managed to cross the opposition line three times, but were unable to ground the ball. The breakthrough came from Braithwaite who stole the ball to set up a tense second half.
With the scores level at full-time the game went to extra-time with Loughborough looking the likeliest to score. But at the final whistle it was agreed that neither team deserved to lose through the toss of a coin so the shield was shared.
Melton squad (Tries in brackets): Ryan Beeforth (1), Hoby Braithwaite (6), Sam Dennison, Rowan Dodge, Daniel Edson, Harry Johnstone (1), Jack Kemp, Fred Measom, Michael Riley, Alex Rippin, Tom Smith, Adam Woolley (2).
l Melton's under 11s won the County Shield on County Cup day at Hinckley on Sunday.
Although they did not play to their full potential in game one, Max Berresford and Simon Peters scored tries as they beat Syston.
A strong Oadby Wyggs outfit were next and they won 2-0. The third game was against Kibworth and this ended in a 0-0 draw.
These results placed Melton and Kibworth in joint second position, and a toss of the coin put Melton into the County Shield play-offs.
Vipers were next up and Melton ran out easy 6-0 winners, with tries from Ralph Hardisty, Simon Peters, Alex Broughton, Adam Mabbott, Jamie Berry and Preston Williams.
The final clash was against Coalville and proved to be a much harder game. It was deadlocked until half-time when Adam Mabbott scored a try. Melton withstood counter attacks in the second half and won 1-0, claiming the County Shield. They also had the satisfaction of knowing that Oadby Wyggs – the only side to beat them – went on to win the County Cup.
Squad (tries in brackets): L. Baker, M. Berresford (1); J. Berry (1); O. Birch, A. Broughton (1), J. Buxton, E. Cocker, H. Fletcher, M. Gamble, R. Hardisty (1), P. Hunt, A. Mabbott (2), D. McGee, S. Peters (2), P. Williams (1).
l The under 12s won two of their four matches in the County Cup competition at Hinckley. In the first match against Loughborough, Melton started slowly and lost 15-0.
But a different performance against Market Bosworth saw the Melton forwards take command with tries for Williams, Leather-land and Miller. A superb back-line movement ended with Betts scoring in the corner to make it 20-0.
A very even contest against Syston followed with good running and great tackling from Norgate and Betts, before the latter powered his way over for the winning try.
This took Melton into the semi-finals where, in a hard-fought match against Coalville, they lost out by a single try. Player of the day was winger Michael Betts.
Team (tries in brackets): Betts(2), Cherryman, Douglas, Eggleston, Heaver, Knight, Leatherland (1), McLean, Miller(1), Norgate, Parry, B Stableford, Tinsley, J Tinsley, Vamplew, Ward, Williams(1).
County U/16s Plate Final
Kibworth 17, Melton 15
These two teams were closely matched as they locked horns under the floodlights at Kibworth.
Melton performed well in the lineouts but despite some strong tackling the home side scored first.
Melton fought back and helped by good scrum work and fine running, they recovered to take the lead at half-time.
Although Melton made a good start it was Kibworth who scored a quick try to level. Melton continued to play attacking rugby and push forward and were awarded a penalty to again take the lead.
With 10 minutes left Melton needed to calm down but Kibworth fought back against a strong defence, bagging the winning try.
Team:- B. Warwick(1), A. Wood, C. Williams, J. Warwick, B. Wise, B. Sanderson, M. Rowbotham, J. Rudkin, C. Rose(c), S. O'Brien, P. Miller, T. Joyce, R Grant(1), K. Durrant, G. Chirico, J. Beagle, D. Bell.
NOTTINGHAM MODERNS RUFC VETS XV 36, MELTON VETS XV 19
Moderns were still smarting from defeat earlier in the season at Melton and their large ever-changing squad met the relentless heat and large pitch with excellent fortitude where Melton's perished.
The visitors opened through the peerless Alan Wade and with Fraser Gifford converting it made light of the injury sustained by Pete Broughton who had to retire. Moderns hit back and after two try- saving tackles by Neil Crowe and Mick Wheatley, they went 12-7 up.
Melton hit back and an astute Trevor Ashley interception saw a run for the line, Gifford again converting for a 14-12 lead. Moderns scored to edge ahead 17-14 but Melton had the last word before the break when Marcus Twidale zipped over for 19-17 lead.
Adam Dixon had to retire from the front row and this threw Melton into disarray in the set pieces and affected the lineout.
Melton's best efforts came from Roger Hobill and Mick Wheatley and runs from the returning Adam Stubbs at number eight.
Moderns had an extra gear as they scored three tries and two conversions to give them a flattering 36-19 victory.