City on form as Bletchley fight back

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VICTORY over Slough at Emerson Valley moved Milton Keynes up to fourth in Southern Counties North on Saturday.

City were desperate to get back to winning ways following the league and cup defeats, both at the hands of Beaconsfield, in the last two weeks which upset their good start to the campaign.

A very bluster day at the Valley saw Milton Keynes opt to play down the slope for the first half.

The opening quarter was all about the kicking game, as Phil Powell slotting two out of three penalties, while Slough returning with just one.

City looked well in control against their opponents with the first choice front row back in action, and overpowered Slough in the scrum.

After several moves towards the Slough line, the first try of the game finally went to the home side after a great run from centre Andy Powell, and following a quick recycle the ball flicked to prop Kerien McConnell to score. Phil Powell kicked the conversion and Milton Keynes were starting to look in full control of the game.

Five minutes after the restart, centre Dan Ralph received the ball inside his own half and went straight down the middle of the park, breaking tackles on the way and forcing the Slough line back. But their chase was in vain as Ralph clicked up a gear, evading further challenges before crossing the line under the posts, leaving Powell with an easy conversion to extend the lead.

Slough replied with another penalty before half time, but trailed 20-6 at the interval.

Milton Keynes weren’t going to rest on their laurels in the second half though, and set about extending their lead from the kick off.

Within five minutes of the restart, City converted another penalty after the referee caught Slough offside.

A third try for Milton Keynes was manufactured after some great passing allowed Rob Lasbury to cross the line in style, with Powell once again converting with ease.

Milton Keynes took their foot of the pedal in the last 10 minutes of the game and allowed Slough back into the game to score two tries.

But it wasn’t enough to overturn the deficit as City ran out 30-16 winners.

The only down side for City was not adding the bonus point for tries scored when there were plenty of opportunities to do so.

Milton Keynes’ next big game is at home on Saturday October 29 against local rivals Aylesbury.

>> A quite brilliant fight back saw Bletchley grab a valuable draw against high-flying Marlow on Saturday.

Bletchley were in good spirits too after last Saturday’s victory over Buckingham as they made the trip south.

Despite scoring the opening try early in the game, Bletchley found themselves facing an uphill challenge, trailing 31-12 after 48 minutes, and needing a miracle to get back into it.

But a dramatic fight back saw Marlow concede eight consecutive penalties, but late tries from George Harman and Dagan Probert meant Bletchley pulled level to tie the game at 34-34 for a share of the spoils.

The result lifts them to sixth in the South West 1 East table, and face fifth placed Salisbury at Manor Fields this Saturday as they look to leapfrog them in the standings.

Olney on the other hand suffered a huge 48-0 defeat at the hands of Swanage & Wareham - a result which sees them sitting perilously close to the foot of the table, just a point ahead of bottom side Buckingham.