Hykeham pull out their most efficient performance of the season. Mellish 19 vs 45 North Hykeham
Hykeham picked up an away fixture against Mellish 2nds to fill in the void for what should have been a league fixture against East Leake. The side thought it was imperative to play this week and clean off the rust from the free weekend previous, before subsequently travelling to meet promotion chasing Leesbrook. Despite being a 2nd team, the task ahead was not underestimated by Hykeham. During the warm up, it was painfully evident that Hykeham were not into gear yet nor mentally prepared. In sharp contrast, Mellish appeared to be running through drills efficiently, and in plentiful numbers.
The game, as anticipated, was full of bone-crunching tackles from the first minute. Given Hykeham's players doubt about getting a result, the first score was going to be crucial in setting the tone for the game. In the early stages, Hykeham pounced on a Mellish dropped pass and with great efficiency the backs scored a breakaway try with Quinlan converting. Confidence continued to build with Hykeham surprisingly demolishing the early scrums, and Hykeham's superiority in the forwards confirmed with a rolling maul being driven over the try line. Hykeham's first half was close to being their best half of the season to date; certainly the most organised and intelligent. A perfect combination of controlled aggression in the tight, not over-committing in the ruck and knowing when to release the pack of whippets in the backs. Hykeham added two more scores before the interval, with an unsighted 3rd unluckily disallowed, with the half time score 24-7.
Mellish started the second half full of vigour and clearly feeling aggrieved by the scoreline, and managed to claw back 7 points bullying their way through a scrambled defence. However the revival was short-lived, as Hykeham kept the scoreboard ticking over with a flurry of tries. Hykeham were keen to make use of the depth on the bench and preserve players for the following week. Pepper and Whatton were replaced, not before Pepper had time to perform the usual smash through 10 players and offload for the try after the hard work was complete. Whatton also left the game in his usual fashion; sporting significant war wounds that he brushes off as just a 'knock'. Unfortunately, the substitution signalled Whatton's last performance of the season as his aggressive tackling saw him pick up a broken cheekbone. The side would like to wish him a speedy recovery and that it doesn't eat into his cricket season.
Hykeham wrapped up the confidence boosting win 45-19. More pleasing than the score was the satisfaction of the controlled, organised team performance. On a day of stand-out performances, Munton picked up the man of the match vote, putting in a superb attacking display but even more importantly dominating in the tackle. The side look forward to the last long distance away fixture of the season next week against Leesbrook.
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