Aylesbury prosper in the rain
By The Real Hummers
Bracknell IV 5 - 15 Aylesbury IV. Match report by Martin Radford.
On a damp, wet afternoon at Lily Hill Park, Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood would have been best suited to judge the 40 or so 'Soggy Bottoms' on show, as the conditions ruined what could have been an entertaining affair between two strong TVIL League contenders.
This wasn't a day for expansive 15 man rugby, and this would favour the bigger Aylesbury pack, who edged it in the tight. The handling error count, from both sides, led to set piece after set piece and Aylesbury exploited their physical advantage.
The early pressure came from Bracknell who could of taken the lead when the normally reliable Ben Radford had the first of three unsuccessful kicks at goal - to be fair to 'Junior' the conditions underfoot were treacherous.
With ball in hand Aylesbury showed enough to suggest they could have been dangerous on a dryer day, but they played in narrow channels and could only exploit space with chip and chase - not a bad strategy on a day like today.
The opening score came from sustained Aylesbury pressure, bombarding the Bracknell fringe defence which held out through multiple phases - however the inevitable happened, Aylesbury crossed the line and led 0-5.
The lead didn't last long when a ball taken off the top was moved through the hands to Luke 'Cheese String' Schofield who used his pace to run the ball in out wide. The conversion was missed, the game was level at 5-5.
Aylesbury appeared the better side between two dropped balls and set pieces, the catch and drive being a feature of their game - but again the Bracknell defence held until a well judged chop behind the tackle line was retrieved by the Aylesbury wing to run it in and score, the try was converted and at half time Aylesbury led 5-12.
Half time was notable for two reasons.
Firstly, a change of referee due to injury, it was impressive that a Berkshire Society Referee was on hand to pick up the whistle (good work guys).
Secondly, when Ian 'The Drone' Sutherland was given the Lino's flag for the second half - The poacher become game keeper as he had (reportedly) questioned every decision the referee and opposition linesman made during his time on the paddock - He was to float along the touchline with the grace of an Amazon drone delivering parcels for the remainder of the game!!!!
The second half in the deteriorating conditions was not surprisingly uninspiring. An Aylesbury penalty extended their lead midway through the half, and this forced Bracknells hand, passes began to stick, and some real endeavour was applied through the midfield with Niall 'BMX' Campbell and Dan 'Guns' Ryding prominent - all that was missing was the final pass to release Luke and Matt Kingston up the touchlines.
In a final attempt to secure some much needed points, on came super-sub Thunderbolt Holt, but even this ace finisher couldn't get his hands on the ball to bring Bracknell back into this game.
On the day, Aylesbury were deserved winners at 5-15, so congratulations to them.
Bracknell: 1 Jack Tann 2 Nick Sheppard 3 Karl Cook 4 Ian Sutherland 5 Luke Beckingham 6 Ben Pilgrim 7 Andrew Oliver 8 Michael Jones 9 Stuart Green 10 Benjamin Radford 11 Matthew Kingston 12 Niall Campbell 13 Steven Reid 14 Luke M Schofield 15 Jamie Jones Subs Sam Holt Nigel Wright Tristan Carter David Rosi