City defeated again as title hopes fade

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MILTON Keynes’ title chances were dealt another blow as they were crushed at home by Windsor.

But City shouldn’t be too downhearted about the 31-5 result – Windsor are eight games unbeaten and but for a points deduction, would be high and dry at the top of the Southern Counties North League.

Milton Keynes started well and enjoyed a spell of dominance in front of the Windsor line but try as they might couldn’t make the all important breakthrough. And it was left to a counter-attack from Windsor to open the scoring.

Milton Keynes worked hard well into first half injury time despite a penalty and drop-goal miss from Phil Powell but disaster struck as Windsor kicked the ball way up field, gathered again and went over for a 12-0 half time advantage.

Into the second half, City couldn’t make a man advantage count as Windsor found a player in the sinbin, but on three occasions, passes went astray when they looked certain to score.

Windsor sat back and soaked up the Milton Keynes pressure, but struck back with three quick tries and two conversions to put the result beyond any doubt.

Still fighting, even though it was just for pride, Milton Keynes finally broke their duck as Kieran McConnell crashed over late in the day to bring the score back to 31-5. The conversion was missed.

The result drops City down to fifth in the table and they face a tough fight to get back into the mix of the title fight. And things will start as early as next week as they travel to third place Wooton Bassett before enjoying a rest over the Christmas period.

Bletchley fell desperately short of a South West 1 East league upset as they took on second placed Cheltenham on Saturday, losing 21-23.

After falling behind to an early try, unconverted, Bletchley got into the flow of the game, and soon pulled the deficit back to just two points when Phil Harman kicked a penalty for the home team.

Cheltenham then scored a 12th minute penalty but three minutes later, Bletchley were back on level terms. Bletchley won a Cheltenham scrum against the head and Ryan Cane made a decisive break before off loading to Josh Peters. Peters kept the leg drive going as he was tackled and with the support of his team mates, Bletchley were deep into Cheltenham territory. Van Rooyan passed the ball off the back of the driving maul straight into the arms of Dougie Webster who ran clean through the Cheltenham defensive line to score an unconverted try, tying at 8-8.

Cheltenham nailed another penalty over the posts but Harman spotted an opening to crash over the line, putting Bletchley in front for the first time at 13-11. But the visitors had the edge before half time as they converted a try, taking the lead at 18-13 at the break.

Another Harman penalty into the second half pulled Bletchley back into the game, but when Cheltenham extended their lead with another converted try, the score looked ominous for the home side, trailing 23-16.

Bletchley continued to fight to get back into the game and penned Cheltenham into their own 22 for much of the remaining 18 minutes, but couldn’t find a breakthrough until four minutes from time, courtesy of Tom Hannell going over in the corner. The conversion, a chance to equalise, was missed and Bletchley had to settle for another defeat – one which sees them now ninth in the table.

Olney remain rooted to the bottom of the table after a 57-10 defeat to Swindon.