Bracknell U14s v Old Ruts U14s
By Gosia Hopley
Another Sunday, another epic encounter, this time on pitch 1. We were playing Old Ruts - a first friendly fixture against them for the age group although we had a close game last year at a festival.
In cloudy damp conditions, regular ref Woody was unavailable due to snapping his hammy, so we called Andy and his whistle into action, and even more exciting was the fact that I was trusted with the remote control for the new electronic scoreboard!
We agreed on 3 twenty minute sessions with the Old Ruts coaches, so that we could rotate our 35 boys v their 23 (which included a couple of huge lads who wouldn't have been out of place in the U16 or even U18 squads!).
We got underway with all our A team on the pitch, and were straight into a physical battle. Andy intervened following a couple of Ruts high tackles, and we started to put together some phases. Eventually we freed up Harrison to fly down the left wing and score, and Louis W worked his usual magic to put us 7-0 up.
As the end of the first third approached, Scott and Thomas began to link up increasingly effectively down the wing, and following some great interplay Scott was able to touch down in the corner. Louis couldn't quite convert from the touchline, but we finished the third 12-0 to the good.
We then rolled an entire team for the second third, whilst Ruts had to keep several of their A team on the pitch, and we had a fantastic 20 minutes of toe to toe contest. Ruts had more of the attacking play, but could not break through the green line who got through a quite ridiculous number of tackles. We defended in numbers and even managed a few breaks to relieve the pressure, but with 2 mins to go the break Ruts eventually broke through to score under the posts. The Ruts no.10 miscued the conversion badly, and we ended the third 12-5 overall to the good - an excellent demonstration of our strength in depth.
For the final third, we brought on the remaining players who had not yet been involved, plus a regular rotation of others to maximise everyone's game time. Immediately from the kick off, Ruts kicked the ball through, and a wild chase ended up with a Ruts score under the posts. Yet again, the Ruts no.10 slapped the conversion wide but suddenly it was 12-10 and they were dangerous enough to win if we let them play. The remainder of the third was lots of open play, and our greater number of subs probably helped, and eventually a running move by the backs in our half ended up with Scott charging down the right wing to score under the posts. Louis W converted again to allow us to finish 19-10 winners.
A great effort by all the team, 35 stars representing the BRFC green with pride.
by Phil Wells