City through to Shield semi

MK could face Bletchley in the semi finals. Pic: Tom Blackman
MK could face Bletchley in the semi finals. Pic: Tom Blackman

Milton Keynes booked their spot in the Bucks Shield semi finals on Saturday with a nervy 32-20 victory over Drifters.

This had the potential to be a tricky away cup match for MK, and it proved to be quite an entertaining tie, but a little nervy if you were the away side.

The league leaders took a squad that offered a few players an opportunity to show that they could do, and with a long season still in front of them.

It was one of the regulars though Rob Matthews that opened the scoring for MK after just four minutes when the outside centre found a little space on the left wing, and jinked his way down the touchline to score in the corner. With Captain Phil Powell resting a shoulder injury it was up to Scott Aspinall to tackle over the kicking duties, he was unable to convert.

Drifters hit back 5 minutes later with an unconverted try of their own and MK were not happy that they couldn’t control the ball for the next 10 minutes.

When they did though scrum half Rob Lasbrey was able to exploit a gap in the middle of the park and run for the line, beating the full back en-route. Apsinall converted.

Drifters hit back with a penalty but it seemed every time City got their noses in front the home side were able to claw at the gap.

The final points of the half came via an Aspinall penalty as they led 15-8 at half time.

The first 20 of the second half Drifters tried to attack but same stout defence from City kept them at bay. Another blistering counter attack from City saw Rob Matthew pick up his second of the day, with Aspinall off the park for Blood Ollie Fountain took over the kicking duties but was unable to convert with his first effort.

5 minutes later, after great work from Stuart Rolfe, down the wing and cutting inside City managed to work the ball into space, for Kieran McConell to go over. It was the number 8’s first try of the season and a welcome one after missing out on all of last season through injury. Converted by Fountain.

The home side hit back with two tries, either side of a yellow card for Ashley Targett, as Drifters’ hit everything at the travelling in a bid to knick the game. Only the second of the two was converted leaving a score of 20-27 with a little over 10 minutes to go.

MK secured the win though with a try on 77 minutes. A great turnover from John Marchbank as Drifter saw City launch another great counter attack. He offloaded to supporting David Brown, who flicked it up for Rob Lasbrey to run it in form distance. Unconverted this meant the final score was 32-20 to city.

City await their semi-final fate, and could face neighbours Bletchley High Wycombe or Beaconsfield.