Cent-sational win puts Bracknell RFC in charge

Published: 15 Feb 2013 12:000 comments

BRACKNELL RFC took a huge step towards promotion from South West One East with a hard-fought 12-8 win at title rivals Old Centralians on Saturday.

Muddy good times: Bracknell RFC celebrate their win against Old Centralians on Saturday. Pic by Ian Hallam

All Bracknell's points came from the boot of Ceri Cummings, six in each half, while Old Cents managed the only try of the match late in the first period.

The win sees the Lily Hill men move eight points clear of their opponents at the top of the table, albeit it having played a game more.

Head coach Rory Greenslade-Jones said the result was especially pleasing having been turned over at home by the same opponents, but insists it does not signal the end of the title race.

"It was great to get a win at their place having lost to them before Christmas," he told the News.

"From minute one to 80, player one to 18, they knew they were in a game on Saturday, there were some big collisions and defensively we were very solid.

"Hopefully now we can really kick on and do what we set out to do, which was to get promoted. But we have a lot of games to go, we don't deserve just to turn up and win, we have to do the right things every game and maintain our focus both on and off the pitch.

"It is not going to be easy, but we went to Old Cents, who haven't lost at home for two and half years, and won, so we are confident."

After a low-scoring match at Lily Hill Park earlier in the season, another close encounter was expected between the two standout teams in the division.

The muddy conditions didn't help either side play running rugby but it was Bracknell who got the first points on the board with a penalty from Cummings, who only played after passing a late fitness test.

Cents responded with a prolonged spell of possession inside Bracknell's half that ultimately went unrewarded as the visitors' defence held firm.

Another Cummings penalty doubled Bracknell's lead and Cents then blew a superb chance to get back into the match.

Pete Willetts broke away with support on either side of him but his pass to Rich Pinkney was ruled forward and the try did not count.

The hosts did get on the scoreboard before the break however, with hooker Nathan Stroud crashing over from close range for an unconverted score.

It was a rare breakthrough for the home side and Bracknell's discipline and defence continued to impress after the interval.

They edged 9-5 ahead with a third penalty from Cummings but were then fortunate that Liam Hemming missed two three-pointers before nailing another to pull his side to within one point.

Bracknell responded by pushing Cents back and were rewarded with penalty that Cummings converted.

The hosts threw everything they had at Bracknell in the closing stages but could not break them down and keep their unbeaten home record intact.

Next up for Bracknell is another tricky contest this Saturday as they host third-placed Reading in a crunch local derby (2.15pm ko).

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