Hopes for the future are high at relegated Milton Keynes, as they picked up a rare win at the weekend in their penultimate league fixture.
The 24-17 win over Bicester, just their fourth all season, means little in terms of league position - they remain rock bottom of Southern Counties North - but has given skipper David Brown a strong sense of positivity ahead of next season.
“It was a great result,” he said. “It’s a shame it came in the penultimate game, and we are going down.
“But with eight of the starting line up under the age of 24, I’m confident we can win our last game, re-build over the summer and come back stronger.”
Despite losing Dan Pearson early on through injury, City took the lead after 20 minutes as Michael Fitzgerald went over in the corner to put the home side 5-0 up.
It became 12-0 shortly afterwards as Andy Poole crossed over after a brilliant solo effort. Tim Parkinson kicked the extras.
Despite Bicester’s pressure late in the first half, they couldn’t find a way though before the interval.
In the second half MK seemed to control the game better, but Bicester always looked dangerous and scored on the counter attack, and kicked a penalty.
Man of the Match Fitzgerald ran in his second try with 15 minutes to go to open MK’s lead to 17-10.
But the try of the day would come from MK to seal victory. After kicking to the left corner, a flowing move up the middle spread wide to allow Jack Linthwaite run in the fourth try for the bonus point and this was converted by Parkinson.
Bicester would score the last try of the day, but at 24-17 it was too late.