Edson Delighted With His ‘Champions’ Mellish

Victory over Ashfield Rugby (27-12), in early April, where a bonus point success would see both promotion, and the Midlands 3 (East) title, made for an exciting end to a long season for Mellish Rugby Club.

Having begun back in late September, with a 46-0 whitewash of hosts Belper, and embarking on a ten-game winning spree, Daniel Edson’s side put themselves into a good position heading into the festive period.

It was a run that would see them rack up three figures away to Sileby Town, winning 113-14, however, it came to an abrupt end at the start of this year (2022) with defeat away to title rivals, Birstall, a narrow, 10-8 reverse.

That defeat however, spurred Mellish on to greater things, they resulting in promotion, and the title, something which, understandably, delighted Edson and his team, but, with a handful of promotions in quick succession, and the effect of the recent pandemic, next season, it’s anybody’s guess.

“Although we’ve missed out on this promotion, because of covid, we were promoted into Midlands 3 in 2019,” began Daniel, who’s been at the club for a number of years, as both player, and in a coaching capacity.

“Coming into this season though, we’ve kept relatively the same side, a young side, but with a few older heads coming back into it.

“But, it was like, everything was unknown again (because of covid).

“We didn’t think this season would be as good, but we’re actually quite disappointed to lose the one game (currently enjoying a 20-1 season ahead of the finale this coming weekend, against Belper at home).

“Mind, it hasn’t been an unexpected outcome, we’ve just been make to work for it.”

Prior to the current campaign, and with the stop-start nature in which everything, everywhere endured, since early 2020, Mellish, along with the rest, suddenly found themselves going into a twenty-two game season.

They did what they had to though, and are now looking, whilst awaiting outcomes from the powers-that-be, on what next season will have to offer.

“During the pandemic, we did all we could to keep everyone at Mellish, going,” explained Daniel.

“That was things like, just getting them out, exercising, doing anything that would be good for their mental health really.

“And it showed that it’s good to do that, to get out there, to interact, even if it was socially-distanced at first.

“But the social side of sport, that’s been shown a lot recently that is good for people, and it’s what has kept us going.

“Now, on the other-side, and looking to next season, we’re all pretty excited for the challenge ahead.

“We’re looking forward to reacquainting ourselves with some familiar faces, with exciting times in front of; but we also know that we have to remain competitive, and confident, whilst playing the running rugby that’s served us well this season.”

Looking back at the season just finished however, winning the league, and with one game still to play, against Belper, one which could see Mellish finish off with a record 21-1 (that narrow, Birstall loss, it’ll hurt for some time), they’ve certainly done the job at hand.

Momentum carried on from their slowly but surely ‘training programmes’ during the pandemic period has paid off, emphatically so.

“It was also going to be a close league this season,” admitted Daniel.

“We started really well, quickly, and, after we beat Birstall at home (19-13 on match-day two), that helped us push out an unbeaten run to the end of the year.

“In going unbeaten for so long, we obviously started thinking, talking about doing special here and, although the loss (to Birstall) at the start of this year, was disappointing, it gave us that jolt, that something, only a loss can give.

“We knew that, going into the game with Ashfield, a bonus point win would give us the title, and that’s what happened.

“Belper at home though, in the last match, we’re going to make it a special day, one to remember.”

Midlands 3 East (North) champions, Mellish RFC, welcome third bottom Belper, to The Memorial Ground, Mapperley Plains, this Saturday, 23 April, for what is the last match of the season.

Keep up-to-date with all things Mellish RFC via their Facebook and Twitter.

*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).

*Main image @Mellish_RFC the 2022 Mellish team that have won the Midlands 3 East title.

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