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Milton Keynes 1st XV - Match centre

Didcot
Milton Keynes
Sat 1 Dec TBC - South West Division - Wadworth 6X Berks/Bucks & Oxon Premier Full time

Didcot 0 - 13 MK 1s

MK grind out away win

MK vs Didcot-1.12.18
Milton Keynes this week journeyed to south Oxfordshire for their eighth
league fixture of the season. After a demanding encounter with Chesham
two weeks prior, MK set their sights on Didcot; a team who have produced
similar results to MK thus far. The overcast drizzle of the morning gave way
to a patchwork of cloud and sunshine. A gentle breeze drifted down the
pitch, with the only hindrance coming from residual moisture left over by the
mornings downpours.
The Milton Keynes boys proved slow on the uptake in the warm up,
nevertheless they ended with some dynamic team runs and looked primed
for an interesting exchange. The referees whistle was met by a slight misfire
from MK, the kick not going 10, giving the packs a chance to familiarise
themselves for what was to be a competitive scrummaging affair. The two
sides then quickly set about imposing themselves upon one another; well
structured Didcot attack pressured the MK line, being met by quick
defensive work from players like Ben Pearson (sponsored by Pro Peak Performance) and Harry Walker (debut).
Translating strong offensive intent appeared in-efficacious for both sides until
a penalty in minute 21’ allowed Declan Morris to claim the first points of the
match. Play continued to be unyielding and physical, with injuries causing
persistent stoppage for the remainder of the half. James Pickles (sponsored by Chairman Martyn Nixon) picking up a
hamstring injury on the 33rd minute meant MK had to make their first
substitution in the form of Frazier Cumming.
The interval lead to clear instruction from MK coach Aldam Mills-“work
needs to be at a higher tempo with greater accuracy, we also need to
improve our support play”. Substitutions were also made, Dylan Greenwood
interchanging for John Subong and a pack reshuffle saw Erik Grimley move
to prop and David Food (sponsored by Transglobal Freight Management Limited) to the 2nd row.

The second half initially continued in the same vein as the first. Didcot won a
penalty on the perimeter of MK’s 22 in minute 53’, however the angle proved
unfavourable for Red 15 and the ball drifted wide of the posts. MK engaged
the last of its bench, sending Vincent Clarke into the fray in exchange of
Corey Lewis around the 55’ minute mark.
Finally the crucial points that were so elusive in the first half began to
materialise; support, as advised by coaches at half time, saw Dylan
Greenwood break the line to draw and give for Frazier Cumming to dive for
the corner in minute 57’. The conversation was a difficult one, and Declan
Morris unfortunately nudged it short of the near post. The score now stood
at 8-0 but the game was far from over.
As Milton Keynes tried to assert themselves in the Didcot 22 they were
repelled by a tenacious and well organised defensive effort. Spurred by their
defiance Didcot decided it was their turn to apply the pressure and the game
moved to the MK 22. Equanimity from captain Ash Targett (sponsored by Oak Fostering) provided MK with
the confidence to ride out the onslaught and deny Didcot a score. A final
69th minute substitution provided respite for Joe Fitzgerald who had worked
hard providing a dangerous threat out wide throughout the afternoon. Play
continued to rumble on toward the games dramatic conclusion.
An MK scrum around half way was lost against the head, Didcot moved
without haste, a delicate chip threw the MK defence and the ball was
recovered by the winger. He was met by a strong tackle, with Ash Targett
swooping in to secure a turnover. The ball was sent ball down the line for an
MK throw-in. In keeping with the contestable nature of this match Didcot
stole the line-out and began to play the ball toward the wing, only to be
intercepted by centre Stuart Phipps. Once again support was to be the
salient factor in transmission of opportunity to result, with Stuart Phipps
finishing the move in the corner. Declan Morris took the final action of the
game, his conversion colliding with the woodwork and providing suitable
punctuation for a match with frustration across the board. Final score MK
13-0 Didcot.
Although Milton Keynes acquired another win, the tone of the post game
huddle was rather self depreciation. The performance may have lacked the
clinical accuracy that MK has been desiring, but it did contain solid efforts
from players like John Marchbank, Arthur Hurren (sponsored by LineOne Sales), Dan Mitchell and Niall
McKenzie. Nevertheless both teams will take away a great deal from the
affair and we look forward to hosting Didcot in the new year. Many thanks to
the home side, and spectators for sharing the contest with us.
MOTM-John Marchbank/Harry Walker

Written by Archie Yabsley

Quilter Kids First Champions winner – November: Hinckley RFC

Team selection

Team selection has not been published for this fixture yet.

League round up

Other Wadworth 6X Berks/Bucks & Oxon Premier results

46
19
Risborough

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League table

# Team Pl Pts
1. Chesham 9 41
2. Gosford All Blacks 9 34
3. Oxford 9 32
4. Milton Keynes 9 30
5. Didcot 9 27
6. Tadley 9 24
7. Drifters 9 19

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