Melton Mowbray 15 Oakham 21
IT was tense in the final minutes but the Oaks held out for a memorable double over rivals Melton Mowbray on Saturday.
Oakham joined their fierce rivals in the Midlands 2 East North division after promotion last summer but have shown little regard for their supposed underdog status this season, beating Melton at the Showground in the autumn and winning 21-15 at Melton at the weekend.
Oakham started strongly and Will Armstrong got the ball rolling with a try after just five minutes, rocking Melton who fell further behind when Mark Matthews kicked a penalty between the uprights five minutes later.
Melton, who were still smarting from the autumn result, began to apply pressure and after a series of collapsed scrums were awarded a penalty try under the posts to reduce the defecit to 8-7. But Oakham struck back with another Matthews penalty just before half time.
Oakham started the second half in much the same manner as they had started the first, pushing Melton back with some inventive interplay between backs and forwards leading to a try by Ben Harries. Mark Matthews converted.
Melton again responded strongly but Oakham defended bravely, putting in tackle after tackle to keep Melton at bay but eventually an Oakham infringement gave Melton a penalty the chance to narrow the score.
After enduring a period of pressure Oakham broke free and surged into the Melton half and another Melton infringement allowed Matthews to extend Oakham’s lead with another penalty.
With 15 minutes still on the clock, the game was far from won as Melton mounted a massive assault, laying seige to the Oakham line.
With only minutes remaining, Melton won a penalty a few metres from the Oakham line and opted for the scrum. Under pressure, the Oakham scrum collapsed and this was followed by another scrum and a further collapse, and the referee awarded a second penalty try to the hosts.
The drop goal conversion hit the post and the final whistle blew leaving Oakham to begin their celebrations.
Oakham chairman Steve Knight said: “I am very proud of them all.
“It was very tense. In the set pieces, Melton dominated but our defence was awesome, putting in some huge tackles and really we snuffed out everything they had.”
Oakham face a tough away game against Bakewell Mannerians on Saturday.
Oakham (including reps): Toby Daw, Ryan Corner, Richard Pocock, Tom Armstrong, Tom Burton, Will Armstrong, Tom Scott, Phil Gant, Olly Baines, Johnny Harrison, Carel Fourie, Ben Harries, Kevin Oliver. Mark Matthews, Dale Corner, Martyn Stimson, Angus Boyle.
Oakham 2nd XV 20
Loughborough 3rd 12
OAKHAM 2nd XV avenged an away defeat at Loughbourgh 3rds earlier in the season by beating them 20-12 at The Showground on Saturday.
The early part of the game was evenly contested with the Loughborough pack having the upper hand but after some good rucking by their forwards, Oakham’s backs opened a gap for fleet-footed full-back Svend Larssen to speed past a couple of tackles and score the first try. Rob Bryant converted.
A penalty by Bryant was the only further score before half time and the game remained an even contest well into the second half, until Loughborough attempted to change matters by kicking the ball long into the Oakham half.
The ball was collected by Larssen who for the second time in the match, drifted past all tacklers to score wide out. Bryant hit the post with the conversion.
A further try was added after a run-in by Adam Price and with the score at 20-0, Loughborough took the scrums uncontested. This allowed them to take their no 8 out into the back line and as Oakham relaxed, Loughborough hit back with two tries one of which was converted.
Oakham ralled with the score at 20-12 to hold out till the final whistle.
The victory keeps Oakham’s 2nds top of the Leicestershire league’s second division. The 2nds’ next game is at Market Bosworth 3rds on March 5.
Oakham 2nd (including reps): Richard Morris, Richard Decker, Simon Brennan, Simon Dolby, Tom Cox, Tom Bass, Svend Larsen, Paul Hern, Nick Henbrey, Brian Sampson, Anthony Leonard, Adam Stimson, Dan Taylor, Florent Lambert, James Beanland, Jake Denton-Beaumont, Gareth Thomas, Adam Price.
Midlands 2 East (North)
P W D L F A BP Pts
Mkt Rasen & Louth 16 15 0 1 568 144 13 73
Loughborough 15 12 0 3 490 232 14 62
Aylestone St James 15 11 1 3 373 182 7 53
Oakham 16 10 0 6 401 251 8 48
Belgrave 14 9 0 5 304 239 9 45
Mkt Bosworth 16 8 1 7 326 351 8 42
Melton Mowbray 14 6 0 8 284 214 11 35
Bakewell Manns* 14 8 0 6 322 344 5 32
Nottingham Moderns 15 3 2 10 286 462 6 22
West Bridgford 15 3 1 11 219 440 5 19
Lincoln 16 1 1 14 209 549 1 7
Ashby* 14 1 0 13 128 502 1 0
Results: Aylestone St James 13 - 12 West Bridgford; Lincoln 17 - 5 Ashby; Loughborough 36 - 7 Belgrave; Market Rasen & Louth 65 - 14 Bakewell Mannerians; Melton Mowbray 15 - 21 Oakham; Nottingham Moderns 39 - 22 Market Bosworth
Leicestershire Rugby Union
P W D L F A Pts
Oakham 2nd 9 7 0 2 258 67 23
Belgrave 2nd 7 7 0 0 246 58 21
Aylestonians 8 5 0 3 133 138 18
Loughborough 3rd 8 3 1 4 172 156 15
Mkt Bosworth 3rd 6 3 0 3 146 135 12
Burbage 8 1 0 7 67 317 10
Birstall 8 0 1 7 96 247 9