Terrific win in Berkshire derby for 1XV
Maidenhead 12 Bracknell 34
Local bragging rights are always at stake with local derbies and this weekend the South West fixture secretary provided two local derbies, one in Somerset and one in Berkshire. As the end of the season approaches both the games took on additional importance as all sides needed league points for differing reasons. In the case of these sides facing each other at Braywich Road, Bracknell to avoid the drop and Maidenhead to secure a playoff spot.
Bracknell made two changes from the starting line up that faced Ivybridge the Saturday before, Ally Walton starting at scrum half and Gabe Hills returning from injury.
Prior to kick off, both team impeccably observed a minutes silence for the Maidenhead Director of Rugby Tony Brookes, who sadly passed recently.
Bracknell kicked off the game playing with the slight breeze. In the opening twenty minutes neither defence gave any quarter and scoring chances were limited. This would change on the 27 minute mark, the ball finding its way to Maidenhead winger Jaryd Robinson who found space to score out wide. The conversion from Ed Keohane going wide.
A sustained period of Bracknell pressure was rewarded with a successful penalty from Vic Hardwicke.
Just before the halftime break a loose ball from a line out was seized upon by Ken Dowling who breaking found Ally Walton to score under the Maidenhead uprights. Vic Hardwicke converting gave Bracknell the lead at half time.
Half time: Maidenhead 5 Bracknell 10
Now playing with the wind Maidenhead suffered an early set back when tight head prop Andy Darlington was yellow carded for s dangerous tackle.
A further Vic Hardwicke extended the Bracknell lead.
Bracknell were now able to get into their attacking phases against the fourteen players of Maidenhead. A series of smart offloads allowed Ally Walton to break into space and off load the ball to Chris Halaufia to dot down under the Maidenhead posts. Vic Hardwicke converted to give Bracknell a fifteen point lead, with quarter of an hour of the half gone.
Bracknell inflicted more misery on Maidenhead, centre Ben Sanderson breaking the Maidenhead defensive line to score under the Maidenhead posts. Vic Hardwicke converted.
Bracknell’s bonus point try came from Vic Hardwick, who was able to touch down in the corner. Not content with the try he then slotted the conversion from out wide to extend Bracknell’s lead to twenty nine points.
With both set of players visibly tiring Chris Halaufia was yellow carded for a high tackle. Maidenhead taking advantage of their superior numbers were rewarded with a late consolation converted try from second row Sam Hallet.
As referee Iain Key blew for full time, the already noisy travelling Bracknell supporters seemed to get louder by a decibel. A massive thank you to all those that came over to cheer on the team.
Full time: Maidenhead 12 Bracknell 34 (Points: Maidenhead 0 Bracknell 5)
In the Somerset derby Weston super Mare defeated Hornets which means that Hornets are now fourteen points behind eleventh placed Ivybridge with only ten points left to play for. The win for Bracknell sees them leap frog Ivybridge and are now tenth, nine points above Newbury in the final regulation spot that has to be decided. Newbury have a game in hand as a result of their fixture being postponed.
Congrats to the 3XV who finished their season with a 25-31 win at Redingensians which means that finish as Champions of BBO2.
Next Saturday Bracknell play host Brixham (KO 3pm), there is a pre-match lunch available – contact email: email@example.com to book.
Bracknell: 1. Jonny Mirza 2. Michael Clarke 3. Ken Dowding 4. Leo Bailey 5. Liam Goodison 6. Simon Hadad 7. Guiseppe Salustri 8. Chris Halaufia 9. Ally Walton 10. Vic Hardwicke 11. Chris Wilson12. Peceli Nacamavutu 13. Ben Sanderson 14. Ian Burch15. Gabe Hills Replacements: 16. Nick Ovens17. Tom Scott18. Chris Laidler