Matt Bright reports on the weekend action involving Mellish RFC…
Mellish 1st XV 116 v 0 Cleethorpes 1st XV
Saturday saw Mellish 1XV welcome Cleethorpes to the War Memorial Ground and after a narrow defeat earlier in the season the lads in green, gold and black were looking for revenge. Throughout this season Mellish have often been slow to start matches. However today was completely the opposite, the game started at a ferocious pace with Mellish kicking deep into the Cleethorpes half and pinning them down there for the majority of the first half. This sustained pressure inevitably led to tries which came from a mixture of strong forwards work round the corner and at the set piece, as well as direct running and good hands form the backs. With four tries and the bonus point being wrapped up within 15 minutes. This allowed Mellish to play with a freedom that they have yet to have this season and continue to pile the pressure on Cleethorpes. This led to Mellish pilling more pressure on the Cleethorpes line with forwards in particular taking their chances well. This led to a halftime score of 54-0 to the home side.
With confidence running high through the team and everyone looking to get on the score sheet the message from coach and captain alike was to not get distracted from the task at hand remain clinical and stick to the structures to ensure the second half performance was just as dominant. Those messages were taken on board, and Mellish began the second half as they finished the first with constant pressure on the Cleethorpes line. This led to more scores and even when briefly tested in defence by the odd breakaway the Mellish defence held firm and were able to shutout Cleethorpes and secure a massive 116-0 victory. Mellish scored a total 18 tries which were shared between no fewer than 13 different try scorers with 13 of the 18 conversions being successful. The lads now face a tough test next Saturday away at East Retford.
Mellish Development XV made the trip to league leaders Lincoln 3’s in the Pennant hoping to build on some good performances and indifferent results. With new skipper Ryan McElhone at the helm the team began brightly and asserted some forward dominance to have good territory for the opening quarter of the game but found the Lincoln defence a match for them. Unfortunately Mellish were undone by a speculative cross field kick that the Lincoln winger reacted quicker to to open the scoring against the run of play. This was the solitary score of the half as Lincoln butchered the only other chance they had in the half and led 7-0 at half time.
However, with a bigger bench than Mellish, Lincoln began to exploit tired legs following the loss to injury of prop Tony Fawcett, who we hope has a speedy recovery from a nasty shoulder injury, and after the 50 minute mark cut loose with a penalty and 3 tries, 2 0f which were converted to leave them winners and league champions following the 29-0 win.