Local rugby: Mixed fortunes ahead of big clash
Oadby Wyggs and Coalville had contrasting fortunes ahead of this weekend's RFU Intermediate Cup regional semi-final clash at Oval Park.
Coalville sit 10 points clear at the top of Midlands Two East (North) following a tense 15-12 win against Belgrave on Saturday, while Wyggs went bottom of Midlands Two East (South) after a 47-19 defeat at home to Bugbrooke.
Lewis Jones scored Oadby's try, while Olly Mills was again in good form, adding 14 points with the boot.
Matt Twigg's brace and a try from Myles Griffin helped Coalville come out on the right side of a five-try battle against Belgrave on a heavy pitch.
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Liam Barnes and Lewis Summers responded for Belgrave, and Kevin Curtis added a conversion.
Oakham moved a point closer to Coalville and consolidated the play-off position as a thrilling derby success at Melton Mowbray was coupled with Leicester Forest's excellent 22-7 win against third-placed Ashbourne.
Mark Matthews and Joe Lunn were among the points in Oakham's 23-22 victory, while Wayne Greaves and Richard Dalton scored for Melton and Phil Stimson converted a penalty-try, as well as kicking another five points.
Dave Lamb and Sam Driver crossed in Forest's fine display, and John Roux converted a penalty-try as well as kicking a further conversion and a penalty.
Vipers joined Wyggs in the Midlands Two East (South) relegation zone after a 23-10 setback at Biggleswade, but only four points separate the bottom four. There was a welcome return to form for Market Harborough as they saw off Dunstablians 28-20 thanks to tries from Ed Bale, Matt Burton and Tansley Naylor.
Lutterworth also put in a fine performance but were edged out 30-26 by leaders Huntingdon & District.
In Midlands One East, Market Bosworth lost 24-5 to Old Northamptonians at Cadeby Lane, despite a Harry Milner try, while Loughborough went down 53-9 at home to Matlock.
The same pattern emerged at Midlands Three East level as Ashby were nudged out 13-11 at Kesteven in the North division and Old Newts went down 21-13 at Deepings in the South section. Newts' try came from Jack Brenchley, and Paul McNeill kicked two penalties and a conversion.
There was no joy further down the ladder as Aylestone Athletic handed Brackley a walkover in Midlands Four East (South), while Castle Donington were soundly beaten 40-7 at Ollerton in Midlands Five East (North).