Milton Keynes Wolves ended North Herts Crusaders’ two-year winning streak on Saturday, and to rub salt in the wounds, they did it in their own back yard.
To make the 26-12 victory over the reigning league and cup champions even more special, Wolves did it with a threadbare squad, with no fit replacements available.
Crusaders took an early lead when they crossed the line for an unconverted try, but Ollie Fountain fired back for Wolves, and Scott Aspinall added the extras to put the visitors into a 6-4 lead.
Crusaders scored another unconverted effort, before Aspinall scored Wolves’ second of the afternoon and kicked the extras to put them 12-8 up at the break.
The scores were level again when Crusaders scored early in the second half, but this only knocked Wolves into a higher gear.
A crucial try was scored on 55 minutes when Aspinall ran laterally and passed to centre Kyle Gibbings who passed out of contact to a supporting Kimo Kirby who scored wide out. It wasn’t converted, making the score 16–12.
On 65 minutes the ball was spun left to winger Jake Reynoldson who was held just short. His quick play-the-ball allowed Aspinall to pick up and drive over from two metres for another unconverted score, making it 20–12 to Wolves.
From a scrum on their 30m line, Dachtler picked up and fed Fountain who went 20m before passing to Reynoldson who then weaved for a further 40m beating several defenders before scoring just to the left of the posts.
Aspinall easily converted and with one minute left victory was secured.