Rugby wrings out a win in the wet for Wheatley
Wheatley Find a chink in Milton Keynes armour
Wheatley ground out a gritty win over Milton Keynes in the BBO Premiership played on a dreadful wet afternoon in Wheatley.
The mud-caked conditions hindered both sides but it was the home side who adapted best and made fewest mistakes.
Arron Laman early penalty set Wheatley on route to the victory
But having lost their last fixture and wth several regular players away the home team entered this fixture not carrying the momentum we had seen post Christmas but still managed to settled into an early groove with their forwards carrying diligently and full-back Jordan Hook dominating the kicking exchanges.
It was a loose Milton Keynes kick which led to the opening score, as James Neal sparked an Wheatley counter-attack and, via an offload from the impressive openside flanker Jack Smith, freed number 8 James Neal to sprint clear to set up the a ruck on the visitors try line and after a couple of pick and go’s Neal was able to get to his feet and bulldoze his way over the line for the only try of the game.
James Neal on route to the try line
Alex Gabbidon and the rest of the Wheatley pack seemed to relish the old-fashioned tussle in the mud, keeping things simple with ball in hand and restricting Milton Keynes to just one out rugby - during a tight first half.
The second followed in the same vein, with the home team's pragmatic and well-executed game-plan in contrast to that of the increasingly error-strewn Buckinghamshire team.
The hosts were guilty of kicking the ball straight away on a number of occasions, and their inability to keep possession saw them pinned back in their own half for short periods.
Wheatley’s head coach Geoff Ward said: "We're satisfied to get the win. Conditions were horrific.
"We found a way to win. It was only 10-0 but I think it was relatively comfortable.