Gareth Jacob scores a hat trick, as the Eagles score 8 to keep pressure on the leaders
Oundle travelled to Melton Mowbray, where last year they edged the encounter by 2 points. With several changes from last week. In fact a whole new look back three, and back row. Lee Osborne, Evan Griffiths and Simon New in the pack. Gareth Jacob, Luke Marston and Louie Davis as the back line defence. On the bench, a wealth of experience in Jon Phillips, Michael Griffiths and Chris Brown making his 150th 1st Xv appearance. However they are in different positions this year in the league, and Oundle needed to have a good performance away from home. They started well, and it was Gareth Jacob to open the score. He ripped the ball straight out the arms of his opposite number, and then sprinted in to score in the corner, 7 minutes in. Will Carrington just edged the conversion wide. Oundle pack this year is a powerful unit, and it was a penalty try that stretched the lead 5 minutes later. Melton got their 1st points, two minutes later with a penalty. Oundle pack were immense in defence, and the back line put real pressure on the midfield frustrating Melton. on the half hour, the Oundle pack drove deep into the Melton 22, and a break was just held up, but Gabriel Smithson was on hand to collect the ball and dive over at the back of the ruck. Will Carrington converted it to stretch the lead. Oundle easily coped with Melton attacks, but executed their own when given the chance. Oundle had a scrum 10 metres out, recycled ball saw centre, Toby Snelling burst through 4 tackles to crash over near the posts. Carrington add the conversion to go into the break 3 - 26. The second half burst into life for Oundle as they stretch the lead with a try for Joe Roberts, converted and then 5 minutes later Evan Griffiths finished off a great break by the backs. This conversion just wide but Oundle out of site, 3 - 38. 60 minutes saw Chris Brown onto the field for appearance 150! Joining an Oundle 5 metre scrum, which stretched their lead, with simple hands from the back seeing Gareth Jacob score in the corner his second on the day. Converted by Carrington from the touchline. The match entered the last fifteen minutes, and some crucial decisions saw first Evan Griffiths yellow carded for sealing off the ball, 1m from their line. 3 minutes later saw Chris Brown go back to the side lines for not releasing in the tackle as Melton pressured. Oundle down to 13 were under pressure but cleared their lines. The next decision came as Oundle kicked out from their, the Melton winger was tackled as he returned the ball, he was tackled by Luke Marston. Luke was the adjudged to tackle the next player without returning to his feet. The referee, then showed him a red card. This was a team escalation to red for too many infringements. All the crowd and both teams were bewildered, but Oundle now only had 12 on the field. This gave Melton the chance to get on the scoreboard with a try, as defenders ran out, as they moved the ball wide. However this was negated 2 minutes later, as Jacob got his third try, finishing off a determined drive by the 6 man pack. Carrington converted. The last shout of the game was Meltons, as they again scored in the corner, but it was bizarre end to a game where the visitors dominated all aspects. Next week Old Scouts at home, and selection will be interesting after there were some great performances from those who stepped up!