Bracknell U14 Bs v Maidenhead Bs
By Gosia Hopley
Touch match but great performance by Bracknell Bs
What a match. Thank you so much to the 15 boys who arrived at Maidenhead for the game. Obviously, this meant that we already were not going to have any subs, and against a squad the likes of Maidenheads size, was going to be a struggle from the start.
We were, however, adamant that we were going to begin with intensity, and not show the sluggish start and 3 try headstart from the cup game before Christmas. Maidenhead kindly offered us 3 subs, but to start, we went in with all Bracknell guns blazing.
To begin with they camped out in our half for a good 5-10 minutes, with some big brutish runs from their backs, all stifled out by our defensive work time and time again, a fantastic team effort, tick box, not conceded in the first 10. All we needed was to break out a bit, but some pressure on them...allas the boys delivered. Unsure how it happened, but we fired away into their 22, and pressured and pressured but failed to get over. Regardless, another tick box for applying pressure in their half.. For quite some time after that Maidenhead tried to break free, but our relentless tackling and team effort kept them pinned back in their own half. They built on that, and returned to apply the pressure on us, but again nowhere through the line, and we got through to half time without a score, or a break in play, or without even a moment to rest. Both teams putting up a fantastic fight.
Our bare, and tiring 15 then started the 2nd half with great passion, after already delivering a wonderful first half performance, built on that, put together a few more passes and piercing runs, with Dylan breaking and ball carrying through, feeding off to Ali who had enough determination to ground the ball over the line, with a text book Ethan conversion. Brilliant. 0-7 up over Maidenhead!, who'd have dreamt it?!?! Maidenhead then showed us the advantage of substitutes, and with some fresher legs pierced through for an unconverted try, then not long after another, but between the posts so converted. 12-7. The boys felt they didn't deserve it, and rightfully so, so stepped it up again, still with our starting 15 applied and applied themselves magnificently deep in Maidenheads half. At some point we did need to dip into their subs, and then late into the game we were within 5 of their try line, with ball in hand for a penalty. Fraser bravely stepped up to receive the ball, only to get unceremoniously spear/dump tackled by their largest player short of the line. Maidenhead somehow recovered the ball, worked it out wide, and broke through up the wing and scored once more, converting too, with the last kick of the game to end it 19-7. The boys looked deflated, but I think it was rather exhausted. They put in a truly magnificent performance today, stood toe to toe against formidable opposition with but a whisker of difference between them. On another day, it would have swung in our favour. Very proud of the boys, and glad I was there to support them. Well done.
by Jarus Baumgart