The eagerly awaited league match between the two local rivals kicked off in great conditions for rugby and saw Bletchley start the stronger, winning ball at the break down and regularly making ground. Good tackling by Tom and Mitchell in the mid field kept Bletchley at bay. The City forwards worked hard in the loose to contain the Bletchley back row with Harry and Joe making key tackles.
In the scrums City competed well, and Jordan-Lee regularly won ball against the head although Connor was constantly harried by the Bletchley scrum half and loose forwards. Despite this attention Connor distributed well or took play back to the forwards when required.
Eventually the possession that Bletchley secured at the breakdowns began to make a difference and they opened the scoring, with an unconverted try following a number of phases of play.
When City won quick second phase ball they looked to move it through the backs and the signs were good whenever Alec or Jake had the ball in hand. Eventually Mitchell found himself in some space, sold a dummy to break the line and beat the fullback to score an unconverted try.
A dangerous tackle saw City’s fly-half take 10 minutes off the field with a yellow card and this gave Bletchley the numerical advantage just before half-time. Pressure eventually told and Bletchley went over from close range for their second try.
Bletchley continued to take advantage of their extra man but for some great cover defence by James,Dan and Bailey they may have broken through again.
Down 10 points to five at half-time City turned around with real purpose, competing at the break down and tackling anything that moved. Eventually possession started to tell and City moved the ball wide through the backs to give Alec room on the right wing. He beat a number of defenders to score out wide. Eddie duly added the extras to put City in front for the first time in the game.
City worked that ball through the phases and started to move the Bletchley forwards out of position creating gaps which City exploited well with Darius regularly made telling runs. As the pressure mounted Bletchley started to lose shape in their play and resorted to kicking the ball away. Eddie fielded one of the kicks beat the first defender, created space out wide the Alec who took on and beat the winger. Despite a number of covering player Alec kept his momentum to score his second try of the game.
Darius, Franco and Joe used their strength and technique to win ball in the tight, stripping the opposition and mauling to great effect. From a turnover ball Zach found open space and ran through the Bletchley defenders to score under the posts. Eddie added the conversion to give city a 14 point lead.
Soon after the restart Zach picked up a shoulder injury and Jack made his debut for City. He immediately made an impact making a strong tackle and winning turnover ball. Franco’s stirling efforts eventually ended up with a re-occurrence of an old injury and Lee took the field in the second row.
To their credit Bletchley took play straight back to the other end of the field and scored a converted try. The last five minutes were hectic with both sides trying to control the ball but giving penalties away at the break down. There was very different emotions from the two teams when the final whistle was blown.