A second visit to Welford road in MMRFC's first ever county cup title
defence, hoping to make it as back to back cup winners after a mixed
season within the Midlands 1 East league competition. Syston RFC visit
welford road on the back of a tough and difficult season, seeing
relegation from National 3 Midlands, however showing an impressive
form and determination within the county cup competition to reach
The atmosphere grew between the rival teams and an anxious
excitement was present as the teams kicked off at 7:45pm. The first few
minutes of the match saw Melton make good attacking ground deep
within the Syston half, a sharp attacking line ran by melton lock Sam
Badham almost lead to a score, had it not been for an excellent tackle
by the Syston centre Adam Nunney. A cross field kick attempt was
gathered loosely but Syston recovered possession and where able to
clear their lines.
Syston defence remained strong and organised with an impressive kick
chase putting pressure on the Melton back three of Harry wood, Harvey
Green and Mark Matthews. Who remained solid throughout the
A drop goal was attempted by Melton Flyhalf Matt cox, this was
however missed and offered Syston another opportunity to clear their
Syston drew first blood with a 48 metre penalty kicked by Centre Adam
Nunney to make the score 3-0 after a Melton offside infringement. A
second penalty for Syston scored by Adam Nunney from 30 Metres out
after a Melton offside 6-0.
Melton then gained some attacking momentum and were awarded
several penalties at the scrummage, in what was a dominant
performance throughout the night by the Melton Front Row of Kieron
Stone, Marcus Badham and Wayne Brooks.
Several skirmishes of organised attacks and high balls from both sides
saw an impressive counter attack from Syston to score a well worked
try which was converted and ended the first half Syston 13 - 0 Melton
Melton returned to the field for the second half knowing there was no
option other than to give this last match of the season everything and
go straight for the win. After several phases of good attacking rugby,
melton found themselves with an attacking scrum metres from the
Syston try line, a well executed scrummage resulted in Simon Peters
scoring from the back of the scrum, converted by Matt cox. Syston 13 -
Syston came back with some impressive attacking play and tactical use
of territory kicking, including two line out steels by Klay Chapman,
however the Melton forwards exerted their dominance in the scrum
resulting in a foreseeable yellow card for Syston prop Josh Kilby.
Making use of the additional man, Melton where awarded another
scrum within the Syston red zone and a clever pick from Simon Peters
at number 8 earned melton a second try with an unsuccesful
conversion Syston 13 - 12 Melton. A penalty late in the second half
kicked by Adam Nunney of Syston assured of a 4 point lead to Syston
going into the final 10 minutes of the match Syston 16 - 12 Melton.
Melton pulled together all there energy and efforts in a final drive up
the field, maintaining possession and running direct and hard into the
Syston back line, particularly Centres Carl Prior and Klay Radford, who
showed great resilience and organisation in sustaining the attack.
A tap and go penalty taken within the Syston half set up an impressive
bombardment on the Syston tryline by the melton forwards, reinforced
by the centres.
After recycling the ball for around 15 phases and being awarded a
penalty advantage, Melton lock Sam Badham managed to outstrength
and break through the almost impenetrable Syston defence and ground
the ball behind the tryline. A nervous wait as the officials discussed the
try before the referee awarded the score, guaranteeing Melton the
victory. The conversion was missed by Matt Cox leaving a final score
Syston 16 - 17 Melton.
Melton had succeeded against the odds in defending the county cup
title after an impressive second half comeback and under immense
pressure in the final moments of the match. Continuing to build on the
impressive form over the last three seasons under coach Gareth Collins
and Captain Marcus Badham, everything was left out there on the field.
Photo Credit: Jonathan McGrady/JM News
Updated 10:26 - 1 Jun 2018 by Matthew Grice