Honours go to 1XV
By The Real Hummers
Bracknell (13) 25 University of Exeter (5) 22
The first time these two sides met in Exeter last November, Bracknell were looking to build on their win over Drybrook the week before. That day late penalty consigned the 1XV to 42 - 40 defeat, in what was a thrilling encounter. In what might seem like déjà vu, Bracknell were looking to build on their win against Drybrook the week before now more important, as the season moved to the business end with only five games remaining.
It would take Exeter University just under a minute to open the scoring. From the kick off Bracknell’s knock on was gathered by winger Toby Williams to score in from of the clubhouse.
Bracknell closed the gap on the seven minute mark with a Vic Hardwicke penalty. Bracknell would take the lead five minutes later with a try from Cam MacDonald, linking up with Simon Baylisis to score under the Exeter University posts. Vic Hardwicke added the conversion to give Bracknell a seven point lead.
The final score of the half came from the boot of Vic Hardwicke on the twenty minute mark to extend Bracknell's lead a further three points.
Half time: Bracknell 13 University of Exeter 5
Bracknell opened the scoring in the second half. An attacking move saw the ball pass from Mikey MacDonald to Michael Clark and finally to Ken Dowling for him to reach out to touchdown with barely two minutes gone.
Exeter University response was immediate, with the University overloading the right hand side of the pitch winger Charlie Davie found space to score. Conversion from fly half Harry Bazalgette was good.
An off the ball tackle reduced the Bracknell numbers, as Michael Clarke was sent to the sin bin with half of the second half gone. From the resulting penalty Harry Bazalgette further closed the Bracknell lead.
Still reduced in numbers a Bracknell attack in the University twenty two was rewarded with a try, a neat inside pass from Ian Burch found Simon Baylsis off his wing, for the winger to crash over. Conversion from Vic Hardwicke off the post was nevertheless good.
With Bracknell back to full strength and the referee playing advantage a smart chip kick from Harry Bazalgette was gathered by winger Charlie Davie to score his second of the afternoon. Harry Bazalgette kicking the conversion.
Into the final moments, Bracknell controlled the ball for a final few phases before Chris Laider kicked the ball dead to bring the game to an end.
Full time: Bracknell 25 University of Exeter 22 (Points: Bracknell 4 University of Exeter 1)
Head of Rugby, Daniel ap Dafyd, “If we had been more clinical then the final twenty minutes should have been more comfortable for us. Our exits from our own half were poor but again our defence was good notwithstanding the Exeter trys.”
The result leaves Bracknell with a four point gap over 12th placed Cleve, with four games left to play. Cleve now have two consecutive home games against WSM and Drybrook which will go a long way to resolving the final relegation spots. With only a maximum twenty points available and needing 23 points to catch Cleve Old Pats are relegated. At the other end of the table Bournemouth’s 21 point lead sees them “champions elect” – many congrats to them.
If you purchased raffle tickets please note the third prize of 2 bottles of wine remains unclaimed. If you have salmon tickets 566 to 570 then you have won. To claim email: email@example.com.
The 1XV are back in action Saturday week (23rd March) when they visit Devon for the last time this season, Exmouth being the hosts (KO 2.30pm). The next time the 1XV are at home is Saturday 30th March when Ivybridge visit Lily Hill. There is a 3 course Former Players Pre-match lunch prior to kick off , so get down and meet up with old mates and cheer on the 1XV. To book lunch or for more details please email: firstname.lastname@example.org or book on line at: https://www.bracknellrugbyclubshop.com/shop/tickets/pre-match-lunches/pre-match-lunch-vs-ivybridge/
Before the 1XV are back in action, next Saturday (16th March) is the final round of the Six Nations. All games will be shown LIVE on the clubhouse screens starting 12.30pm. Also next Saturday the club’s Executive Committee will be holding a strategy day to look ahead and discuss what the club needs to address for the coming months & years. All starts from 10am; for the full details of the day click here.
Photos courtesy of Jayne Whitelegg.
Bracknell: 1. Elliott Bellman 2. Bradley Walters 3. Ken Dowding 4. Leo Bailey 5. Jamie Johnson 6. Sam Gibbons 7. Lorenzo Palacio 8. Michael Clarke (c) 9. Mikey MacDonald 10. Victor Hardwicke 11. Ian Burch 12. Chris Laidlaw 13. Cam MacDonald 14. Simon Bayliss 15. Gabe Hills Replacements: Paul Studd, Nick Ovens, Lewis Franklin