MK 39 - 10 Oxford
MK Run in 7 Tries Against 2nd in the League
Milton Keynes hosted Oxford on Saturday at Emerson Valley in arguably perfect conditions for the second meeting between the two outfits.
Oxford began the game by kicking deep to MK but they soon found themselves pressured in their own half. Building meaningful attack was tough, no one could secure possession for more than a few phases. Oxford may have held dominance in set piece, but Milton Keynes were unremitting in open field defence. After a rusty start Lewis Barrett and the forwards began to refine their lineouts and steady their scrums to supply the backs with a much cleaner platform, which they soon made use of, a gap and a step was was enough for Tom Pope to dive into to claim first blood.
Striking whilst the iron was hot, MK quickly put away two more scores in the form of Stuart Phipps, who continues to jeopardise opposition midfields across the league, along with Ben Pearson coming off the bench and making an impact. Oxford may have been down, yet they were by far from out, a penalty plus some determined pick and go’s reduced the deficit to only seven and kept the game close at 17-10 on half time. Milton Keynes maintained consistency as they kicked off the second half; weathering the onslaught of some very direct Oxford attack the MK boys could get back to what they do best, scoring tries. Stuart Phipps hared through a chink in the Oxford midfield to go under the posts. He then took an artful offload from his centre partner Harry Walker to complete his hat trick. The rest of the team were keen to do their bit though, smooth management from the back line found another overlap for Tom Pope to glide over for his second try.
Oxford then began to appear irate, a slight misfire in handling gifted a fortuitous try to the day’s Man of the Match Micheal Fitzgerald.
Kickers Declan Morris and Juan Santirso struggled to convert throughout, but they persisted, having one each come final whistle.
Final score 39-10.
Milton Keynes players and coaches alike will delight in the performance against a side who had caused them a real headache in the earlier
stages of the season, they now look toward Risborough next weekend and the opportunity to continue their development.