BRACKNELL RFC retained top spot in South West One East with a bonus-point victory at Berkshire rivals Reading.
It was a clinical display from Rory Greenslade-Jones' men, as they stayed one point in front of second-placed Old Centralians, who thrashed Cheltenham 50-13.
"I was delighted with the performance," beamed Greenslade-Jones. "We lost to Old Centralians the week before so we studied the video and learned from it.
"Our defence was the key. Reading are a good team and there was nothing in the game until the last 20 minutes." Bracknell arrived at Holme Park last Saturday with certainly the biggest, and probably the best, side to play against Reading in the past four seasons.
With huge forwards like lock Kim Plant and No.8 Nico Maybury and creative backs like fly-half Dan Antonelli, winger Stuart MacKay and, most impressively, full back Ceri Cummings, Reading found themselves up against it.
It was nevertheless a challenge they worked hard to take on. By the end, however, Bracknell had secured a bonus point win, the tries coming from MacKay (2), flanker Craig Fillier and hooker Stuart Silvester while Cummings kicked 12 points.
Reading's reply was a penalty by Rob Sweeney and his conversion of a try from Richard Lester.
Bracknell started the match in control, playing a well-disciplined style.
Within the first 10 minutes their pressure gave Cummings the chance to kick two penalties and Silvester, left, added his try on the half hour.
Reading might have scored before half time but Paul Guttridge took a tap penalty in front of the visitors' posts and the hosts failed to claim the try, instead being penalised themselves.
Reading made a good start to the second half and a strong drive from centre Peter Czernuszka took them close. Guttridge's drive from a tap penalty was stopped illegally and Sweeney at last put his side on the scoreboard with a penalty.
Unfortunately for them, Reading almost immediately conceded another try. Sweeney's kicking had been impeccable but this one went to Cummings who opened up the Reading defence for Craig Fillier to finish off the move.
Yet Reading came back again. Bracknell were penalised close to their posts and this time scrum-half Richard Lester's tap and go took him all the way to the posts.
Sweeney converted to bring the score to 10-18 but that was as good as it got as the more powerful Bracknell added two more late tries through Mackay.
Bracknell face a tough test against third-placed Salisbury at Lily Hill Park this Saturday (3pm ko).
The club has no fresh injuries and Greenslade-Jones added: "Like us, Salisbury have only lost once so far so we're expecting a similar battle to the one we had at Reading.
"We've got to earn the right to win by doing the basics right."