Bracknell U14s v Newbury U14s
By Gosia Hopley
Another nail biting performance and a narrow defeat
So off we ventured into West Berks for the much-anticipated double header against Newbury. First up was the A team, full of confidence after narrowly losing to Rams by 3 points in the previous cup round and then beating Maidenhead.
We kicked off, and quickly camped down in their 22. Several great phases of play, and some massive hits – one drive by Casey was stopped by a big Newbury unit, and the collision is still echoing around the West Berks hills! We took a number of penalties, kicked for lineouts and also tap and goes, but couldn’t quite score. Suddenly Newbury broke down the other end and Scott tracked back and did the ultimate try saving tackle – wrapping up and rolling their player onto his back as they slid over the line to prevent him from touching down. However, a few minutes later their dangerman – big Josh the Centre – crashed through half a gap in our back line and they were up 7-0.
Bracknell continued some great play, and a lovely move from right to left side gave Scott half a breakthrough, and following some great driving play Stefano touched down in the left corner. Louis W couldn’t quite work his magic but at 7-5 it was all to play for. We then capitalised on some open play and we hacked through for Matteo to outsprint the Newbury defence and touch down, but it was disallowed for an earlier knock on. Still, only a 2 point match at half time, game on!
Second half continued and again the majority of the play was Bracknell. We put together a long multi-phase play, involving forwards and backs supporting and recycling, and eventually it was popped to Harrison to score on the left. Louis W slotted a kick that even the ref was impressed about, and suddenly it was 7-12 to us!
Newbury then turned the pressure up, and camped in our 22. We were really under the cosh and the ref seemed to give decision after decision against us. Eventually his patience cracked and he yellow carded Stefano, not helpful for our defence. Two minutes later our epic defence was finally breached and Newbury scored a converted try, to go back into the lead 14-12.
We through everything forward in the last few minutes but couldn’t score again so went down by 2 points by the end. Really tough heavy conditions, and a ref who seemed to get less friendly by the minute, but a great performance none the less, and the boys should be proud of their performance.
by Phil Wells