A Win for ARFC U15s On Their League Debut
A solid 22 man performance, with much to be admired.
ARFC U15s' first foray into league rugby saw them travel to face Milton Keynes, a side against whom they had two hard-fought wins last season.
Fielding a strong line-up, Ays kicked off, but immediately conceded a scrum from which MK showed their game-plan: to roll their big pack around the corner and rumble upfield. Thankfully, Ays' defence functioned well in the first ten minutes, even if their attack did not, and they comfortably kept MK's big ball-carriers at bay, competing for every ball and putting pressure on the well-drilled MK back-line.
Having seen a handful of attacking chances falter through sloppy handling, and too often finding themselves on the wrong side of the referee, Ays finally found the breakthrough on a lovely soft pass from Ollie to Kit as he powered through on an inside line, providing quick ball from which Ben jinked his way over in the left corner for the first of his three well-taken tries. Minutes later, Ben scored his second; a carbon copy of the opener. After a nervy first 15 minutes, Ays were 10-0 up and starting to play with ambition. A combination of direct running from the pack and crisp handling kept Aylesbury camped in the MK 22 for much of the half, and they were rewarded with a third try when Sam scooped the ball from the base of the scrum and smartly went blind, taking a couple of tacklers over the line with him and bringing a nostalgic tear to the eye of any aged No. 8's looking on. 15-0 at the half.
Ays rang the changes at half-time, the reconfigured team taking the pitch with instructions to be more clinical and, after a stuttering first five minutes, they began to do just that as MK’s lack of numbers began to show. Glyn was rewarded for a lively all-round performance with a try, after yet another barnstorming run through the middle, duly converted by Joe. Max, alert as ever, took a quick tap penalty and with the ball coming back quickly, Archie dummied and finished well under the posts, Max's low-drilled conversion benefiting from the slope of the pitch - and possibly curve of the earth - and sneaking over the bar. Kit caught the resulting kick-off and went the full 50 metres virtually untouched, again converted by Joe. The backs were by now enjoying the platform provided by the forwards, and good hands put Luke in at the right corner; he returned the favour for Harvey moments later, who cut beautifully back inside to dot down under the sticks, Joe with the extras. Finally, after some good build-up play, Max toed one down the touch line, Ben put on the burners and beat the cover to touch down for his hat-trick. Final score, 53-0 to Aylesbury.
Our thanks go to the many supporters - particularly those injured players - who made the journey to MK, and to our very welcoming hosts who kept up the fight until the end. Man of the Match: Glyn Holmes - an all-action performance capped with a great individual try. COYA's.