MILTON Keynes have made the perfect start to life at Emerson Valley, winning their first two games there in relatively comfortable fashion, with Beaconsfield the latest to fall on Saturday.
The south Bucks outfit were beaten 23-17 in City’s curtain raising match, a week after Southern Counties League whipping boys Chipping Norton were thumped 76-19 in the club’s first game played in MK4 territory following their move from Greenleys.
Those victories mean City will finish the South West Division season in style and a another win away at Oxford this Saturday could see them end it as high as second, although a fourth spot finish is more realistic, but just as creditable.
City kicked off against Beaconsfield playing up the slope of their new pitch, but they got the first points of the day through Dave Mathews who converted a penalty. The visitors fought back and scored a converted try to take the lead, but Mathews kept City in touch with a second successful penalty to make the score 6-7.
Playing down the slope was proving to be a big advantage and Beaconsfield enjoyed the better of the first half. But for all their dominance they managed just a penalty before the break to take a four-point lead, and the hosts would make them pay.
City’s first try came 10 minutes from the restart as Scott Aspinall went over following fine work from the forwards, but after Mathews’ conversion attempt narrowly missed Beaconsfield scored a try of their own, which was converted to make it 11-17.
He may have missed that conversion attempt, but City’s win would be down to Mathews who scored the remainder of their points. First he went over for a try - unconverted - to make it 16-17, and then collected an Aspinall pass to score again in the corner. This time he added the two extra points and City had done enough to see out the last five minutes to secure a sixth straight league win.
Bletchley have done extremely well to move themselves away from danger near the foot of the South West 1 East League in recent weeks, and made it three games without defeat when they battled to a hard-fought draw away at Swanage & Wareham.
This Saturday’s home game against second from bottom Oakmeadians had looked likely to be a relegation decider but Bletchley have now done enough to avoid any final day nerves with two well earned points on the south coast.
George Harman scored their first try and brother Phil converted. The hosts hit back to take the lead, but a George Harman penalty and a try from Dagan Probert - converted by George - helped Bletchley back into it. Then with just a couple of minutes remaining Phil took his chance to kick another penalty to make the final score 20-20.