Bletchley beat MK to lift Shield

Milton Keynes vs Bletchley. Pic: Anderson Photographics
Milton Keynes vs Bletchley. Pic: Anderson Photographics

Bletchley beat local rivals Milton Keynes to lift the Bucks County Shield at Manor Fields on Saturday.

The 20-3 win means they go on to represent the county in the next round of the Shield competition.

Milton Keynes vs Bletchley. Pic: Anderson Photographics

Milton Keynes vs Bletchley. Pic: Anderson Photographics

A crowd of around 300 fans braved the cold and rain to witness the clash, but with high winds, both sides suffered early on with their kicking game.

Bletchley got the first try of the match after 10 minutes. Paul Mellon reacted quickly to intercept a MK kick, recycling to Will Garrett to touch down between the posts. Phil Harman added the extras to make it 7-0 to the home side.

Bletchley extended their lead nine minutes later when scrum half Kev Turnbull’s run was held up, before offloading to Harman to cross over. Missing the conversion, the lead was 12-0.

City spent a lot of time in the final part of the first half camped in Bletchley’s 22 and should really have left with something to show for all their efforts, but fine defensive work and good tackling left them searching for that elusive score.

Steve Allen picked the ball up from the back of a Bletchley scrum in his own 22 and set off down the pitch into MK’s 22. His run was supported by Mellon who almost managed a great offload inside to Turnbull, but somehow City scrambled back well and denied Bletchley a third try against the run of play.

Early in the second half, both teams exchanged penalties as conditions under foot got increasingly difficult.

Bletchley put the game out of reach with 14 minutes of the second half played though.

After enjoyed a prolonged spell of possession and territory in the next period of play. Domination in the set piece allowed the home side to camp themselves in MK’s 22.

Eventually the referee lost patience with MK’s pack in the scrum and showed a second yellow card, just as the visitors were back up to a full complement of players.

Bletchley took the scrum option from the penalty and literally slid the MK pack over the try-line, allowing Allen to touch the ball down to give Bletchley a healthy 20 – 3 lead; the conversion having missed.

MK then appeared to wake up and piled on the pressure, desperately trying to find a weakness in Bletchley’s defence.

They really deserved to get something for their efforts, but Bletchley were not showing any Christmas spirit on the pitch and denied them at every opportunity.

There was six minutes of play where MK were battering the try-line continuously, but Bletchley held firm, much to the relief of the home support.