City go top as Bletchley slip

MK vs Swindon
MK vs Swindon
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Milton Keynes took full advantage of Bletchley’s defeat on Saturday to move into pole position in Southern Counties North Division.

While Bletchley tasted defeat for the first time this season against Aylsebury, City made no mistakes in hammering Swindon College Old Boys to take over at the top of the league.

The City boys knew nothing but a bonus point win would do and started off in strong fashion, forcing Swindon to clear their lines only for them to slice the ball into touch and offer MK a line out on the Swindon 22.

A well executed catch and drive, gave the backs good clean ball and allowed Gino Genova to show his power by crashing through two tackles and over the line to score under the posts, converted by Captain Phil Powell.

Swindon came back though and tried to force the MK back only to receive a penalty in the MK 22, making the score 7-3 after five minutes.

MK were straight back on the front foot though, and some great running rugby allowed Daniel Rolfe to continue his early season form and a break from his own half running the length of the field to score in the corner.

This seemed to open the flood gates, and more first half tries would follow from, Rob Lasbrey, David Brown, Lewis Barnett and Daniel Rolfe again, with Powell converting all but one meant the home side took a commanding 38-3 lead in at the break.

City started the second half brightly and scored another try through Rob Lasbrey who spotting a gap off the bass of a ruck sniped around to score close to the posts allowing Powell to convert, making the score 45-3.

City expected a fight back from Swindon but will be disappointed with the way the following 15 minutes went. It appeared as though seeing the game as won meant the boys lost their clinical edge.

Whilst they still had the lion’s share of possession, some unforced handling errors meant they we’re not able to convert their opportunities, often dropping the last pass.

Swindon seemed to be spurred on by this and started to carry some fight to MK and wasn’t long before a short scrum on the MK five metre line saw Swindon drive over for their first try of the day, which was converted.

Shortly afterwards they scored their second try following some poor tackling from the home side, missing the conversion making it 45-15.

This seemed to kick the home side into gear again and they were rampant in the last 12 minutes, running in a further four tries, from Dan Pearson, Daniel Rolfe( securing his hat-trick) Ollie Fountain, and the return of retired club stalwart Stuart Tomkinson, with Powell hitting two of the conversions making the final score 69-15.

Bletchley surrendered their top spot with a mixed performance away at Aylesbury, losing out 16-10.

The visitors made the early running in the game, but they could not get into their stride with the referee bringing the game to a halt with regularity.

Eventually Bletchley did manage to work the ball wide quickly for Tim Stobbs to score in the 14th minute.

They doubled the lead just before half time when a good piece of play between the forwards and backs, the ball was once again moved out wide quickly. Centre Kev Turnbull held up his pass to set Dan Read off down the right wing to score out wide. He was unable to convert his own try from out wide, but Bletchley led 10-0.

An Aylsebury penalty just before the break reduced the deficit by three.

The second half was not an advertisement for flowing rugby as both sides played a scrappy game.

A series of penalties awarded to the home side allowed them to chip away at the Bletchley lead, and reduced the gap to just a point at 10-9.

Bletchley had a player sent to the sin-bin for 10 minutes, Aylesbury made the most of the man advantage and scored a converted try to nudge ahead on the scoreboard.

Bletchley almost took the lead through a break from first Phil Harman then from brother George, but the referee deemed the final pass forward, much to everyone surprise.

The defeat brought to an end Bletchley’s 100 per cent start to the season and sees them slip to third, a point behind MK and Thatcham.

Olney moved up to eighth in Midlands 2 East South with their 21-16 win over Market Harborough on Saturday.

Jordan Letts kicked two penalties to give Olney a six-point advantage after 15 minutes before the home side pulled one back.

From the restart, Olney worked the ball to the left wing some slick handling gave Stuart Livesey just enough room to go round the defenders and touch down. Letts converted to open the lead to 13-3.

Olney’s early advantagewas slipping away when some unforced errors allowed the home side to get back into the game. Harborough scored an unconverted try and kicked another penalty before the break, but trailed 13-11.

And they carried their momentum into the second half, scoring another try and taking the lead for the first time at 16-13.

The boot of Letts levelled the scores once more, but Olney finally make the decisive breakthrough when, at a scrum on the home side’s put in, Olney pinched the ball off the back of the scrum and set up a forward drive. The ball was delivered to the backs and passed through the hands for Brendan Kerr to go over in the corner for the winning points.

Olney held on in the latter stages to record the 21-16 win.