BRACKNELL dropped into the bottom three of the South West Premier table after being edged out 28-25 at home to Maidenhead in their east Berkshire derby on Saturday.

The visitors’ early pressure was rewarded with the opening score, full back Perry Jensen finishing off a backs move under the Bracknell posts which was converted by Ed Keohane to put his side 7-0 up.

The sides exchanged penalties before referee Henry Lewis showed Keohane a yellow card for a deliberate knock on, just on the half-hour mark. From the resulting penalty Vic Hardwicke reduced the Maidenhead lead to 10-6.

Bracknell took full advantage of the extra man, a clearing kick gathered in the Maidenhead half by Ben Sanderson. He fed the ball to Ian Burch, with the wing outpacing the Maidenhead defence to score in the corner.

The conversion out wide by Vic Hardwick was successful, and Bracknell had a 13-10 half-time advantage.

Things got even better for the Lily Hill men early in the second half, Burch intercepting before streaking clear for another converted score.

Keohane cut the gap with a penalty before the visitors added their second try, wing Alex French scoring in the right-hand corner to cut the deficit to 20-18.

Maids moved in front shortly after when a spell of extended pressure ended with George Blewitt scoring in the left corner to take the lead 23-20.

However, in what was an ebb and flow contest, Bracknell regained the advantage when No. 8 Chris Hala’ufia broke a tackle and off-loaded to Simon Bayliss to round the Maidenhead defence to score. The conversion was missed but the home side were 25-23 in front with just a minute remaining.

Yet it was Maids who had the last laugh, Bracknell failing to clear their lines and affording the away side an attacking line-out.

And from that platform, hooker Mark Darlington came up with the match-winning bonus-point try, despite Keohane failing to add the extras.

Bracknell chairman of rugby Martin Radford said: “It was a fantastic and enthralling game which was won and lost four times in the last 10 minutes – but congratulations to Maids.”

Bracknell travel to Brixham this coming Saturday (2.30pm).

l BB&O Premier tailenders Crowthorne did not have a game last weekend, returning to action at home to Milton Keynes this Saturday (2.30pm).