BRACKNELL RFC continued their magnificent National Three South West form with a nail-biting 19-18 victory at Lydney on Saturday.

The Lily Hill men climbed to sixth in the table following a ninth win in 11 games, and kept their hopes of a top-three spot alive on a wet afternoon.

The home side took an early advantage thanks to a penalty from fly half Danny Openshaw, but Bracknell hit back with the first try of the game when Harry Challenor burrowed over from the back of a powerful driving maul. Chris Laidler, pictured right, was unable to add the extras, but the visitors led 5-3.

They moved further in front when fleet-footed wing Simon Bayliss skipped over out wide, although after the conversion was again missed, a second Openshaw penalty cut the deficit to 10-6.

However, Laidler found his range from the tee to land a penalty of his own and move his side 13-6 in front at the interval.

Lydney began the second half brightly and battered away at the Bracknell line. Eventually Daniel Ap Dafydd’s men infringed too often in defending their line, with the referee awarding a penalty try which Openshaw converted to level the contest.

Yet the Lily Hill men continued to battle away and another Laidler penalty nudged them back in front, only for the home side to score their second try when replacement Brian Ncube crossed for a score which was not converted.

This ultimately proved decisive as Laidler held his nerve to strike a third penalty to put his side a point in front, Lydney missing one of their own in the dying seconds to fall to defeat.

Bracknell travel to fourth-placed Ivybridge on Saturday (2.30pm) knowing a bonus-point victory could move them to within two points of their hosts.