Bracknell U13 Hurricanes in Berks Cup semi-final
By John Halley
Match report by Ian Manners
On Sunday March 3rd Bracknell Hurricanes U13A had the Herculean task of taking on an unbeaten Reading Abbey U13’s in the Berkshire Cup Semi Final at Abbey’s Peppard Road ground.
The game kicked off in horrible conditions. The brisk wind and occasional drizzle mixed with a muddy and slippery pitch made conditions very difficult for handling.
Having lost heavily to Abbey earlier in the season the Bracknell boys knew they had their work cut out to cause an upset.
For the first 15 minutes the Hurricanes took the game to Abbey and began to dominate play and had the better of them. The first chance fell to Bracknell when the backs created an overlap for left wing Rufus Dibley, who had an easy run in from 30 metres out but a delayed pass allowed the Abbey backs to get across and tackle him. Minutes later the backs created another overlap for Rufus but a poor pass went to ground. At this level Bracknell needed to take their chances.
Meanwhile on the right wing James Waller was having a tremendous game in defence. Abbey kept running the ball wide to their big pacey left wing, who had scored several tries against us earlier in the season but James smashed him backwards every time he got the ball. So much so that the Abbey coaches switched him to their right wing. Understandably James switched to our left and he never got past James all morning.
Eventually Abbey’s strength told in attack and they scored after good handling by their backs 15 minutes into the game. They followed with three more tries and the Hurricanes found themselves 20-0 down at half time.
The Hurricanes continued to put up a spirited performance but lost several key players to injury which upset the flow of their game. Abbey’s line speed was very quick and although they looked to be offside on several occasions they didn’t allow the Bracknell backs to get going.
As the half progressed Abbey scored four more tries before Bracknell crossed the whitewash after a powerful break by Charlie Garrad from inside his own 22 metre line, to run the length of the pitch and score a consolation try just before the whistle. The final score being 40-5 to Abbey.
Ben Burton was voted Man of the Match by the Abbey Captain. Will Evans, Bracknell’s captain selected their number 8. The Abbey coaches picked Bracknell’s fly half Geoffrey Manners and Bracknell’s coaches picked the Abbey inside centre.