MK Wolves came up just short in a roller-coaster match with Kings Lynn Black Knights at Emerson Valley.
Buoyed by the previous weekend’s big away win over the league and cup champions North Herts Crusaders, MK Wolves were back at Emerson Valley on Saturday, but couldn’t make home advantage count in an end-to-end battle with Kings Lynn.
Both sides came into the game level on points in the East Premier League, both having won two and lost two. But it was Wolves who got off to the stronger start - with captain Scott Aspinall leading by example, picking up a great offload from Steve Datchler to cross for an early try (which Aspinall duly converted) from MK’s first attack of the game.
This was quickly followed up with another positive attack from MK which was held up over the line, but MK made the pressure tell and centre Arran Perry touched down, with Aspinall converting, to take the score to 12-0.
This, however, served to rally the Kings Lynn side, whose loose forward crashed through the Wolves’ defence and scored under the sticks, swiftly followed by a brace from the Black Knights’ pacey left winger, which swung the advantage in Kings Lynn’s favour, giving them a 12-14 lead.
Arran Perry then scored a fantastic individual try, leaving Kings Lynn’s defence sprawling in his wake as he crossed for MK, but Kings Lynn scored in the corner on the halftime whistle to level things up at 18-18 at the break.
In the second half half, MK who took a while to switch on, with simple errors leading to penalties which Kings Lynn were more than happy to take advantage of - their telented young loose forward scored a second, and shortly afterwards, scored again (but missed the conversion) to go 18-28 up.
MK switched on to score another unconverted try to narrow the gap to six points, but were pegged back again by Kings Lynn who made it 22-32.
Aware they needed to step it up, MK winger Kimo Kirby was on the end of some great play to get the ball wide, and had the presence of mind to run the ball in under the sticks to allow Aspinall to convert, bringing the scores to 28-32.
With three minutes to play, the Emerson Valley support were hopeful of a grandstand finish, but despite MK’s best efforts, it wasn’t to be, as Kings Lynn’s defence shut MK out and wound down the clock.
MK Wolves head coach Abe Kerr said: “It was a tough, physical arm wrestle of a game between two evenly matched sides. Both sides were guilty of gifting possession and territory, and of giving away simple penalties, but it was the dogged tenacity of Kings Lynn that probably won it for them.
“We should have been a bit more streetwise, should have got the ball out wide more often, and should have made more of exploiting their weaker areas, but there is plenty to build on.”