Milton Keynes got their season off to a winning start, beating Crowthorne 26-17, but it could have been an all-together different story.
A Dan Pearson try put MK ahead early on, Crowthorne fought back with a converted try and a penalty kick to put them 10-5 up.
City’s lack of discipline was moving the penalty count heavily in favour of Crowthorne and the referee eventually lost his patience with MK and sent the scrum half Brian Purcell to have a 10 minute rest.
But man of the match Michael Fitzgerald’s try just before half time, and Whitehead’s conversion, gave MK a 12-10 lead.
Two more Whitehead penalties made it 18-10, but another try for the home side brought it back to within a point.
But despite pressure from the Crowthorne attack, MK dug in and put the result beyond doubt as Tim Parkinson finished a great team move to score, and a further penalty put the icing on the cake at 26-17.