Milton Keynes are joint top of the Berk, Bucks and Oxon Premier Division after a 17-0 win over title rivals Abingdon on Saturday.
Tied on top with Gosford All Blacks on 36 points, MK narrowly missed out on a bonus-point which would have seen them take over top-spot out right.
City got off to a great start as Dan Rolfe carried the ball deep into Abingdon’s half supported well by Scrum-half Rob Lasbrey. A couple of phases through the forwards saw the Abingdon defensive line bunch and a wide miss pass left Outside Centre Tim Parkinson with an easy run in for City’s first points of the day with barely a minute on the clock. The conversion was good from Full Back Brian Purcell and 7-0 was more than MK could have hoped for so early on.
The score remained unchanged for the rest of the first half with MK enjoying a lot of possession but lacking the control and discipline to make the pressure count. Abingdon too were guilty of a lack of control at key times in the half and missed scoring opportunities even when City were down to 14 men for a yellow card following a line out infringement.
The second half saw MK start the stronger more positive of the two sides, with Abingdon relying heavily on the wind which was now in their favour. From a line-out in the Abingdon 22, City secured good ball which was taken on well by the forwards, through several phases of play. The ball went out to the backs through the hands for City Winger Michael Dean to score out wide. The conversion was missed, but the lead was 12-0.
Abingdon started to apply some pressure in attack, but MK handled that well with a strong defence. Following a decent clearance kick from Abingdon, after another period of MK pressure, City’s Gavin Whitehead got the ball and ran through some poor tackling and then off loaded inside to Winger Nathan Thomas for a great try to move the lead to 17-0.
Despite continuing to play well, City were unable to get the try bonus point and the scored remained until the final whistle.