Disappointing day for 1XV
By The Real Hummers
Bracknell (7) 10 Cleve (14) 17
This game was equally important for both sides as only one point and one place separated the sides in the league. Prior to kick off Cleve sat twelfth in the league,in the final relegation spot. Last time the sides met at Lily Hill Bracknell came out the winners 31-22. In the reverse fixture earlier this season Cleve got their revenge, defeating Bracknell 32 23 at home. Like Bracknell, Cleve have not enjoyed their time on the road, recording only one away win; but it was some win defeating Old Pats 12-104. Their other trip to Berkshire this season was fruitful as they picked up two bonus points at Maidenhead in a 49-46 loss.
Cleve kicked the game off attacking the clubhouse. Cleve enjoyed most of the possession and territory in the opening half hour. The occasional Bracknell venture into the Cleve half quickly petered out.
The Cleve pressure was awarded just after the half hour mark; a strong counter ruck from Cleve won them back the ball only 5 meters from the Bracknell try line. Number eight Anton Welling running with the ball to cross the Bracknell white wash. Fly half Nathan Huntley converted.
Almost immediately Cleve struck again, Anton Welling again doting down off a driving maul from an attacking line-out with the Bracknell defence melting away. Nathan Huntley kicking the extra’s.
Five minutes later Bracknell responded. Cam MacDonald with a neat side step and reach to score for Bracknell. Vic Hardwicke kicking the conversion.
Half time: Bracknell 7 Cleve 14
Now attacking towards the clubhouse, Bracknell closed the Cleve lead with almost the opening play of the second half. Vic Hardwicke successful with a penalty.
With just four points separating the teams Bracknell enjoyed their best period of the game. A number of promising attacks were unsuccessful, Bracknell let down by their final execution or thwartedd by the stout Cleve defence; Cleve defending as if their league survival depended on it.
After a number of penalties had been awarded to Bracknell, Cleve were reduced in numbers, winger Diago Baker being shown a yellow card. Despite having a man advantage Bracknell still could not come up with the vital score that would give them the lead.
Although reduced in numbers Cleve extended their lead with a penalty from the boot of Nathan Huntley which proved to be the final score of the game.
Full time: Bracknell 10 Cleve 17 (Points: Bracknell 1 Cleve 4)
The result sees Cleve leapfrog Bracknell as Bracknell drop into the relegation zone, they now sit twelfth in South West Premier - third from bottom. Bracknell can take some heart as a result of Bracknell gaining a losing bonus point, the gap between Cleve and Bracknell is only two points and a further four points to Drybrook in tenth.
Elsewhere the 3XV had a good 19-9 win over Marlow, the Stags and 4XV were not so successful both losing in their BBO fixtures. Don’t forget the Ladies are in action this afternoon in the Junior Cup Quarter Final vs Cannock Ladies. KO is 2pm so get down and cheer them on.
Next week the 1XV have a break for the third round matches of the Six Nations, which you can watch LIVE on the clubhouse screens. The 1XV are next back in action on Saturday 9th February when they are back on the road away at Drybrook (for what could be another important game). They are back at Lily Hill on 9th March when Exeter University are the visitors. (KO 2.15pm).
Although the 1XV have a week off there is still rugby at Lily Hill next Saturday as the 3XV & 4XV are both in action in a re-arranged fixtures. Why come down and lend your support and then watch the Six Nations on our clubhouse screens after?
Bracknell: 1. Elliott Bellman 2. Michael Clarke (c) 3. Nick Ovens 4. Rhys Verley 5. George Cotterell 6. Sam Gibbons 7. Lorenzo Palacio 8. Giuseppe Salustri 9. Lewis Franklin 10. Victor Hardwicke 11. Cam MacDonald 12. Jason Henry 13. Ian Burch 14. Mikey MacDonald 15. Gabe Hills Replacements: Bradley Walters, Jamie Johnson, Connor Segre