In form City have top spot in sight

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MILTON Keynes moved to within just four points of Southern Counties North leaders Grove on Saturday when they won 14-0 at Alchester.

Although they would have been a little disappointed not to have secured a bonus point, City’s 12th straight league success came on the same day that table toppers Grove suffered a surprise 14-12 defeat at Aylesbury. However, City remain third in the table because Reading Abbey picked up another win over Tadley, but City still have a game in hand on both sides.

City’s next game is against Aylesbury this Saturday, and with Grove taking on a useful Buckingham side, the men from Emerson Valley could find themselves at the summit for the first time this season if results go their way.

In cold and muddy conditions, a trip to Alchester could have been a banana skin for City, but they proved their promotion credentials with a professional display in testing circumstances.

Due to the recent bad weather, it was City’s first game in four weeks, but they showed no signs of rustiness in the early stages – almost opening the scoring when Dan Rolfe was denied after putting a foot into touch when he crashed over the line.

However, City did open the scoring in the first half when Phil Powell intercepted a pass and sprinted home from the best part of 80 metres out to give the visitors the lead.

That would be the only try of the game, but City made sure of their victory in the second half – Powell on target with three penalties to secure his side’s second clean sheet in a row after they prevented Slough from scoring in their last outing.

Also in the Southern Counties North league, Olney were 19-17 winners away at Thatcham, keeping them fifth in the table.

Bletchley recorded their first away win of the South West 1 East league season as they left Wycombe with a 30-11 success.

Bletchley had failed to win away from Manor Fields in eight previous attempts this term, but produced a good display to make up for that on Saturday.

It took 21 minutes for Bletchley to open the scoring as Phil Harman slotted his first penalty of the day. And they soon got their first try when Josh Peters scored and then Harman converted for 10-0.

Wycombe responded with a penalty but two more Harman penalties gave Bletchley a healthy advantage at the break.

Harman added another three points via his boot early in the second period, but the home side responded with a converted try to close the gap.

However, Kev Turnbull put Bletchley in the clear with the visitors’ second try and Harman converted. And Harman got a try of his own to make absolutely sure.