BRACKNELL's South West Premier relegation fears were heightened as they slipped to a 20-10 reverse at Drybrook on Saturday, leaving the basement boys still searching for a first away win of the season.

With a strong wind blowing diagonally across the pitch and favouring the Lily Hill men in the opening period, it was the hosts' opening pressure in the early phases which was rewarded with the opening try after 14 minutes – scrum-half Ollie Moore collecting his own neat chip ahead to dot down with fellow half-back Tim Stevenson adding the extras.

Bracknell rallied, however, and enjoyed a concerted spell of pressure inside their opponents' half.

A number of driving mauls had the Drybrook try line under pressure, but with the opportunity seemingly over, Stevenson's clearance kick was charged down by visiting centre Bart van Herwijnen.

He reacted quickly and fell on the loose ball to score, and with Vic Hardwicke’s conversion successful, the scores were level at 7-7.

The sides exchanged penalties in the final 10 minutes of the first half, but Drybrook got their noses in front just before the break as another successful Stevenson kick made it 13-10 to the home side.

With the with wind blowing to their advantage and knowing the local conditions better than Bracknell, Drybrook were to dominate territory in the second half.

With 10 minutes of the half gone, a throw to the front of a line-out and a driving maul got Drybrook over the Bracknell whitewash. Stevenson was again on target with the conversion to push his side 10 points clear.

With the wind seeming to pick up even more, Bracknell could not take advantage of any rare foray in Drybrook territory and found themselves pinned into their own half for the majority of the time.

Indeed, only some brave defending prevented further Daybrook scores, and they suffered a further blow in the final quarter as prop Jonny Mirza was sent to the sin-bin.

While the visitors did not concede, a final Bracknell attack was halted in the Drybrook 22, allowing the ball to be cleared to touch and leaving the Lily Hill men without any points for their troubles.

Bracknell are now six points adrift of safety, although they do have a game in hand on third-bottom Launceston.

Fourth-placed Exeter University, who shocked leaders Barnstaple last weekend, are the visitors to Lily Hill Park this Saturday.

In Berks, Bucks & Oxon Two South, Crowthorne picked up a 24-17 victory at Phoenix to stay third in the table.

The Crows are without a game this weekend, returning to action at home to Thatcham 2nds on Saturday, February 15.