Bracknell Stromers, can't sustain strong first half performance and lose out to Newbury
By John Halley
Keep your heads up boys (... and make those tackles)
This was the first return fixture of the season as Newbury had been visitors to Lilly Hill Park at the beginning of the season. Based on the previous fixture Bracknell Stormers were expecting to play a strong Newbury team but were also confident that they had been improving steadily throughout the season. A tight contest was on the cards.
And so it was. Newbury scored early on and without detracting from the quality of Newbury's players, it was a typical, slow start, and poor commitment to tackling that allowed Newbury to score.
Only a few minutes later, a similar play, and a similar outcome. Newbury lead 10-0, with barely 5 minutes of the game played.
The next score came from Bracknell, against the run of play and with a long distance run, Bracknell made the score 10-5.
Heads immediately lifted, shoulders broadened, confidence improved and suddenly Bracknell are gaining ground, retaining the ball in contact, recycling and making yards. Bracknell scored next; 10-10.
The competition was tight and with Newbury advancing to the Bracknell line the first half was surely coming to an end. A final surge from Newbury and they crossed the line making the score 15-10 before the whistle was blown for half-time.
This was a different game to the one played earlier in the season. This was a contest that either side could win.
As the second half got under way, Newbury were first on the score sheet with not just one try but with 2 or 3 in quick succession. The effect on the Bracknell team was evident and the first half confidence ebbed away, allowing Newbury's confidence to grow.
Whilst Bracknell managed a consolation try in the second half, Newbury deserved their victory.
This match was characterised by Bracknell securing a defeat defeat and Newbury showing more stamina, desire and freedom to play.
The journey continues. C'mon Stormers