Milford Perform at Acorn
An away fixture against the always competitive York Acorn promised the enticement of Marlins going top of the league, but equally, a defeat would have left us mid table. So it was always a big fixture for the boys, and we got what we expected, a tough, arm wrestle of a game against a confident team with a couple of outstanding individuals. We knew Acorn would be well coached and fully prepared for the game, which was played on the Acorn 1st team pitch offering plenty of room for some potential open rugby.
The game started at full speed, and it was pleasing to see the boys at it from the kick off following a couple of slow starts recently. Big, aggressive drives form Brighton and Callum set the tone and good field position gained. A big hit from Jonno won the ball back for us and Mitchell continued his scoring streak with a try to give us a 0-4 lead early on. The Acorn defence was strongly led by their no2 who performed excellently in both attack and defence all through the game, and this pressure allowed Acorn to hit back and level the scores at 4-4. Marlins responded well with Ewan banging in 2 consecutive hits to force a knock on, give us the ball back, and allow Callum to cross for a landmark try to give us a 4-8 lead. The rest of the 1st half was a close tense affair with both teams battling for the upper hand. Strong runs from Suggs and Abdul tackles were highlights for Marlins as the half drew to a close, and the feeling was growing that we were in for a tough 2nd half.
It has to be said that, after the outstanding performances of recent weeks our ability to spread the ball was missing. We seemed more reliant on our forwards, who although committed and powerful, did not seem quite as eager as recently. Exceptions to this were Brighton and Dalen who, as ever, wanted the ball and made good strong yards as well as consistently making tackles. With Harry hitting top form behind the paly the ball we looked like we might hit some better form. However, Acorn had received a tough half time team talk, and came out flying at us with some real spirit. This extra effort secured Acorn a deserved 10-8 lead and we were concerned on the touch line. The boys didn’t like going behind, and a collective sharp intake of breath was heard as the boys pulled together to raise their game.
The defence stood up, Jonno and Ben forcing errors from the Acorn pack giving Milford good field position and allowing Mitchell to scoot under the sticks to put us back in front 10-14 with Kav adding the extras. The game remained tense, but the boys had confidence now, and before long we had crossed again to make the score 10-20, which to my eyes was a little flattering to our lads. There was still time for more big hits, with efforts from Joe and Ryan noted before the whistle blew securing another victory and 1st place in the table.
We remain unbeaten in the league, but need to keep improving to maintain this record. This was a solid, well-earned win, but lacked the class of recent weeks. We will need to be at our best this weekend against a Stanningley team who will not lack any motivation, we know if we turn up and perform at our best we will win, anything less than 100% commitment coupled with smart rugby will leave us exposed.
We have climbed the mountain, we need to stay up there for the rest of the season, we will be a target for every opposition we meet who will be desperate to be the 1st team to beat us. We need to keep improving week in week out and win in the Milford way……. With a smile on our faces!