BRACKNELL RFC slumped to their second South West Premier defeat of the season after a heavy 45-5 loss at Barnstaple on Saturday.

It has been a topsy-turvy start for Bracknell whose two defeats have come either side of a thumping 52-12 home win against Old Patesians.

The challenge now for head coach Dan ap Dafydd is to find some consistency in a tight division where teams often beat each other.

This was Bracknell’s first trip to North Devon for four years and they faced a Barnstaple side recently relegation from National Two South.

Ap Dafydd was forced to make a number of changes to this side, with Peceli Nacamavutu making his first start of the season at centre, Ian Burch moving to wing, Tom Field and Ben Sanderson joining a re-arranged back row and Leo Bailey moving up to the second row.

Nevertheless, the visitors started the livelier of the two sides only to find themselves behind shortly after when back row Winston James grabbed the home side’s first try.

It was a sign of things to come as Barnstaple kept the momentum and ran in three further tries through centres Ryan Carter and Jake Murphy and No.8 Winston James to lead 24-0 at the break.

Bracknell would have been hoping for a strong fightback, but again it was Barnstaple who dominated proceedings.

The pumped-up hosts ran in three more tries after the interval, the final score going to James to complete his hat-trick.

The only crumb of comfort Bracknell took from the day was a late consolation touchdown from replacement Nick Ovens in the dying moments.

Bracknell return to Lily Hill Park this Saturday when they host in-form leaders Bournemouth (3pm ko).

The visitors at top of the table after winning all three games this season and accumulating 137 points along the way, with 49 conceded.

Bracknell: Bellman, Clarke, Dowding, Bailey, Stevenson-Leigh, Field, Sanderson, Salustri, Franklin, Hardwicke, McDonald, Henry, Nacamavutu, Burch, Segre. Reps: Ovens, Plant, Laidler.

Bracknell 2nds thrashed Windsor 2nds 59-0 at Lily Hill Park on Saturday to go top of Berks, Bucks & Oxon 1.

Bracknell 3rds lead Berks, Bucks & Oxon 2 after winning their first two games of the season including a 56-10 success against Rams 4ths on Saturday.