Patient Wheatley PPPick up a Penguin
By Simon Chadbone
Wheatley topple second placed Milton Keynes with emphatic win
A much changed Wheatley side come together to put to gather a great performance against 2nd placed Milton Keynes,
Wheatley who were forced into only taking one player on the bench due through injury but found themselves with real momentum having scored on the halftime whistle, After a hard fought first half that saw the purple men show great patience both in attack and defence.
It was from great build up play that Wheatley were awarded a penalty with Milton Keynes conceding at the breakdown, The penalty was missed and with the visitors unable to exit their half the subsequent lineout allowed Wheatley to get back into a commanding field position and control play, more great build up play saw Luke Aguis find space and was able to burrow his way over to open the scoring with the conversion missed 5-0
This seemed to ignite life into the visitors attack giving Wheatley plenty to think about, Milton Keynes were looking to move the ball wide at every opportunity but great defensive organisation allowed the Wheatley defence to keep applying pressure to the attack and forcing the errors.
However Wheatley did concede a sloppy penalty having been caught offside in midfield allowing an easy shot at goal and Milton Keynes picking up 3 points. 5-3
Undeterred Wheatley found themselves back in the visitors half and building momentum, with Wheatley stress testing the Milton Keynes defence a slip in defensive discipline awarded Wheatley a penalty a cool kick saw the ball cross on the five meter line with the purple men well placed to execute fine lineout move saw James Neal emerge from the pile of bodies having scored the try with Jordan Hook adding the conversion. 12-3
After the break Milton Keynes now with the wind behind them came out with new vigour, still looking to play at high tempo but with Wheatley defence a little sluggish no pressure on the attack allowed Milton Keynes to cross the line to pick up a converted try. 12-10,
Wheatley were struck a cruel blow moments later with Oli Kenworthy forced off with a knee injury and were forced to shuffle the pack with Simon Chadbone moving to second row and Michale Ridge moving to flank.
Milton Keynes still buoyed by the early second half try were probing the Wheatley defence but great individual defensive effort from Luke Aguis, Jordan Hook and Jack Taylor kept the Bucks men at bay, Wheatley were performing well at the breakdown with Sean Book and Jack Smith causing Milton Keynes problems, Wheatley were able to turn ball over at the ruck but with a poor kick chase it was the visitors who gained the advantage and found space for their pacy winger to cross the line although not without controversy with Jordan Hook seemingly grounding the ball only for the try to be awarded which Milton Keynes duly converted, 12-17
In previous weeks Wheatley might of allowed their heads to drop but not today! Wheatley regrouped and applied the same tactics they employed in the first half building play and playing with purpose and direction. Wheatley bombarded the Milton Keynes line with phase after phase of probing runners with Ezra Rees and James Neal prominent, Wheatley were forced to play the remaining 20 minutes with 14 after Dan Rule's wretched season continued picking up another injury.
Wheatley switched Jack Smith back to wing and continued to batter the Milton Keynes defence, It was Jack Smith who's try proved to be the difference, coming off of his line from depth Jack crashed into the defensive line continued to drive and with an out stretched arm grabbed the try. Jordan Hook added the conversion meaning Milton Keynes needed to score a try to win.
With 7 minuted to play Wheatley closed the game out with precision and patience unparalleled in that games that have gone before us, The forwards and backs recognising the need to play with real control closed the game out in close quarters with pick and go the favoured option, the supporting play was immense, With skipper Alex Acklam, veteran forward Simon Chadbone and Pete Mitchell finding reserve levels of energy from somewhere to keep driving the play forward, eventually running the clock down for Jack Taylor to kick the ball dead for the final whistle.
Great performance from all involved, with players filling in out of position but all stepping up, Man Of The Match Jordan Hook