BRACKNELL RFC dropped back into the South West Premier bottom three after losing 32-23 at Cleve on Saturday.

Two Vic Hardwicke penalties put the Lily Hill men in front, only for Cleve to nudge themselves ahead courtesy of a converted try from back row Chris Macann.

Bracknell hit back, however, with Giuseppe Salustri touching down from an attacking line-out to put his side 11-7 up.

Lachlan Kirk cut the deficit with a penalty and they set-up wing Ubi Onyekwelu to dot down and make it 15-11 to the hosts at the interval.

The visitors suffered a major setback five minutes into the second period, wing Cam Macdonald deemed to have illegally brought down Max Baker as they chased a ball towards the Bracknell line.

A penalty try was awarded, and with Macdonald also sin-binned, the Lily Hill men trailed 22-11 and down to 14 men.

Yet they hit back thanks to a Ken Dowding try, again at the back of a line-out, and with Hardwicke adding the extras, the gap was cut to four points.

Cleve No. 8 Neil Evans was yellow carded shortly after, but Bracknell could not make their numerical advantage pay.

And they were left to rue their lack of penetration when Cleve put the game to bed with a brace of tries from replacement Harry Owens and Baker.

Bracknell did have the final word, though, as substitute Chris Laidler showed his pace to scorch clear for his side’s third try.

However, it was not enough and the Lily Hill men returned with no points to show for their efforts.

Bracknell Director of Rugby, Jamie Turner, admitted: “We played well in patches, but made far too many mistakes and errors that cost us. We need to learn quickly from this to cut these out.”

The defeat leaves Bracknell 12th in the table ahead of a home game against Drybrook this coming Saturday (2.15pm ko).