Smiles all round as city down leaders

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MILTON Keynes kept their hopes of promotion alive on Saturday with a comprehensive 38-7 thrashing of league leaders Beaconsfield, cutting the gap between the two teams to nine points.

Despite the win, City remain fifth in the Southern Counties North as their three other title rivals also picked up victories, but that takes nothing away from an outstanding team performance that gave the men from Emerson Valley revenge for their big defeat in south Bucks back in September.

Next up for City are a couple of very winnable games at Slough and then Aylesbury as they go into the final stretch of the season in great form having now made it three wins on the bounce, while also inflicting just a second defeat of the season on Beaconsfield.

And if they can replicate the level of performance that saw them score four tries against the best team in the division to date then anything could happen, especially as they have a favourable run of fixtures.

The City pack was dominant and holes were being punched through the Beaconsfield defence by Stuart Tompkins and Richard Hill as they made their intentions clear early on.

The handling from the backs was excellent throughout the game with Gavin Whitehead and Scott Aspinall having outstanding games.

It took City just five minutes to get their first points on the board with an excellent Tompkins penalty kick forward leading to a ruck and then Darren Broderick going over before Phil Powell converted.

Powell soon converted a penalty to make it 10-0 and City were soon in dreamland when following a poor defensive kick Dan Rolfe caught the ball and broke through three tackles before making the try line.

Powell’s conversion attempt was off target this time, but he quickly made amends by slotting home a second penalty kick just before half time to make it 18-0 to the hosts.

That would prove an unassailable lead, but there were still one or two scares for City – particularly as they made a sloppy start to the second half and allowed Beaconsfield to hit back through a converted try when a pass was intercepted.

However, that momentary loss of concentration only spurred City into greater efforts and they soon moved further ahead. A couple of minutes later Kieran McConnell produced a characteristic burst from the away side’s 22 and broke through several tackles to touch down and increase the lead to 25-7 with the conversion by Powell.

And the scores continued to come as a further try by Gavin Whitehead, converted by Powell, and two further penalties from the same boot made the final score 38-7 – completing a memorable afternoon for everyone involved with the club.