Midlands 1 East
Melton Mowbray 27
Market Rasen & Louth RFC 5
Jeremy Pope’s try was all Market Rasen and Louth had to show for their efforts at Melton Mowbray in the Midlands 1 East on Saturday.
After some early forays from the home side, playing with a slight slope advantage, Rasen showed encouraging signs as they worked their way up field and elicited a penalty in the fifth minute.
Fly half Dan Robinson was unable to convert the opportunity and Melton went back on the offensive.
It soon became evident that Melton’s modus operandi was to batter the visitors through their pack whilst the deep position of fly half Matt Cox indicated a kick for position was more likely than any backline attack.
With 16 minutes gone a minor skirmish between the two number sixes, Ben Chamberlin and Lee Miller, resulted in a 10-minute rest on the touchline for both of them, providing Melton with a penalty that was dispatched to touch.
Melton’s catch and drive was too powerful for Rasen to resist as flanker Leon Gormley made the touch down.
From a five-metre scrum Rasen were penalised and Melton, not surprisingly, opted for a scrum reset.
The solid Melton pack pushed Rasen backwards before the ball was flipped up for scrumhalf Duncan Lennox to dart over the line.
Cox added the conversion as Rasen were left pondering as to how they could deal with the Melton juggernaut.
Rasen responded well, Dave Starling picking the ball up from the back of a retreating scrum just inside Melton’s half and set off, breaking the gain line before linking with the backs.
Rasen worked the blindside with Pope joining the line from fullback to squeeze in at the corner.
This gave Rasen hope as they reached half time just one score adrift at 12- 5.
Red and green hopes were soon dashed as a wayward clearance kick from Pope failed to make touch and Marcus Badham eventually touched down.
Melton weathered another Rasen storm before yet another kick from Cox saw Tom Stephens charge forward before Carl Prior strolled in under the posts unopposed.
Cox added the conversion.
Rasen continued to try and get a consolation score, but Melton comfortably repelled everything that was thrown at them.
With four minutes remaining, Cox stroked a simple penalty between the uprights to extend the lead.
Rasen had been beaten by a stronger set of forwards with Melton’s simple game plan utilising this superiority to great effect aided to some degree by poor tackling from the Red and Greens.
RASEN: C. Starling, Alldridge, Southwell, Mills, Inman, Chamberlin, Pryer, D. Starling, M. Starling, Robinson, Cooper, Beasley, Harvey, Stephens, Pope; Replacements: Crowe (Chamberlin), McMillan (Southwell), J. Norton (Pope).
Rasen return to Willingham Road next week, but it doesn’t get any easier with undefeated table topping Newbold on Avon the visitors (KO 3pm).