BRACKNELL head of rugby Daniel ap Dafydd was pleased with his side's second-half display as they recorded back-to-back South West Premier victories for the first time this season with a hard-fought 23-19 home win against Brixham.

Despite being reduced to 14 men after just four minutes, No. 8 Sam Thomas sent to the sin-bin, it was the away side who made the early running, a 12th-minute try from Connor Bedwell no more than their dominance deserved.

The Lily Hill men hit back against the run of play with a Vic Hardwicke penalty, but Brixham moved further ahead when Tom McLean breezed through the home defence before Mitch Pinkus converted.

Hardwicke slotted a second penalty to cut the gap to 12-6 on 25 minutes, and Bracknell then snatched a half-time lead when a quickly-taken tap penalty by Ian Burch ended with the centre scoring next to the posts. Hardwicke's conversion gave his side a somewhat fortunate one-point advantage at the break.

The home side began the second period strongly and grabbed a second try just five minutes after the restart, a powerful rolling maul ending with George Cotterell dotting down. Hardwicke landed a tough touchline conversion to give his side breathing space, but Brixham rallied with Pinkus knocking over the extras after scoring himself, leaving the score 20-19.

A third Hardwicke penalty nudged his side four points clear, but it took a tremendous rearguard in the final five minutes for the home side to repel a Brixham side encamped on their try line.

However, Bracknell showed their resolve and eventually forced a knock-on which ended the game and gave them a crucial four points.

A relieved ap Dafydd admitted his side had improved significantly after the break, stating: "I'm happy with the win and how we played in the second half.

"At half time I said to the team if we can play that badly and still be in the game then if we put a better performance in the second half, we can win.”

Bracknell remain in 11th place in the table, but are now three points clear of the relegation zone.

They do not have a game this weekend, returning to action at Camborne on Saturday, February 9.