BRACKNELL RFC gave their South West Premier survival hopes a big boost with a 25-22 win against Exeter University at Lily Hill Park.

It was the visitors who went in front in less than a minute, though, Toby Williams gathering the ball after Bracknell knocked-on the kick-off and going over in front of the clubhouse.

A Vic Hardwicke penalty cut the deficit, and the hosts moved in front after Simon Bayliss sent Cam Macdonald over the try line.

Hardwicke converted and then added a penalty on the 20-minute mark to put his side 13-5 up at half-time.

Bracknell made a fast start to the second period, a good move featuring Mikey Macdonald, Michael Clarke and Ken Dowling ending with the latter dotting down.

However, Exeter rallied immediately and scored their second try when wing Charlie Davie found space to score.

Fly-half Harry Bazalgette added the extras, and things got worse for Bracknell when Clarke was sin-binned for an off-the-ball incident midway through the half, Bazalgette slotting the penalty.

However, they responded impressively, and despite being a man down, they extended their lead when a neat inside pass from Ian Burch found Bayliss who cut in from his wing to score.

Hardwicke's conversion went over off the post to make it 25-15, but the University set-up a nerve-jangling finale when Davie collected Bazalgette's clever chip-kick before racing over. Bazalgette was again on target from the tee, but Bracknell held on to seal a vital four points.

Bracknell Head of Rugby, Daniel Ap Dafydd, had mixed emotions, stating: "If we had been more clinical then the final 20 minutes should have been more comfortable for us.

"Our exits from our own half were poor, but again our defence was good notwithstanding the Exeter tries.”

The result leaves Bracknell with a four-point gap over 12th placed Cleve, with four games left to play.

Bracknell face the long trip to Exmouth this Saturday.