BRACKNELL RFC chairman of rugby Martin Radford was pleased with his side despite their 24-14 Berkshire derby defeat at Maidenhead.

The South West Premier strugglers fell behind in just the seventh minute, home fly-half Will Runciman putting a deft cross-field kick in to allow wing Scott Prince to collect and dot down.

Bracknell weathered the storm, however, and hit the front with a converted Kieran Forbes score, the No. 8 going over at the back of a rolling maul before Vic Hardwicke landed a tough kick from the touchline.

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It was a shortlived advantage for the Lily Hill men, though, as Forbes' opposite man, Dave Cole, bulldozed his way over before Runciman added the extras.

Prince's second try pushed the Maidenhead lead to 17-7, but Bracknell hit back on the stroke of half-time when they again utilised their rolling maul to good effect, Elliott Bellman the beneficiary this time. Hardwicke's conversion reduced the gap to three points at the break.

With the rain becoming heavier, the second period proved a real arm wrestle, and it was only as the game entered its final 10 minutes that Maidenhead's forwards rumbled over for the bonus-point score. Runciman added the extras to all but put the game to bed.

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Bracknell did rally, though, and earned a penalty which could have snatched a losing bonus-point. However, it failed to hit the target and Bracknell were left with nothing.

Radford said: β€œIt was a game between two very good sides, one riding the wave of success, the other working hard to join them at the crest.

"At times, we played with the freedom, pace, power and some precision which matched Maidenhead.

"This encounter could have gone either way, which illustrates our progression in recent weeks.

"In defeat, some would say we came away with nothing tangible, but I disagree, our direction of travel is where we want it to be, giving a top-three side a huge fright. That for me is as good as a bonus-point.”

Bracknell drop to 11th in the table and return to action after a rest week when they host basement side Newbury Blues on Saturday, September 7.

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