BRACKNELL RFC's South West Premier survival hopes suffered a major setback despite a brave 21-13 home defeat to table-topping Barnstaple.

The Lily Hill men led 3-0 at the break thanks to a Chris Laidler penalty, the only score in a scrappy opening 40 minutes.

The hosts moved further in front just three minutes into the second period when debutant Dan Spencer-Tonks crashed over following a series of phases.

Bracknell News:

Laidler's attempted conversion was charged down, but Bracknell seemed to be in complete control when Gabe Hills crossed for their second try and a 13-0 lead.

Bracknell News:

However, Barnstaple showed terrific fight and began their comeback when Terry Sellick crossed for a converted score with 20 minutes remaining.

Four minutes later, full back Ryan Lee found space to score under the Bracknell posts and fly-half Haydn Lidston converted to give the visitors a one-point advantage.

And with little more than five minutes remaining, it was heartbreak for the hosts as Barnstaple scrum-half Dylan Gosling went over, Lidston converting, to leave the Lily Hill men outside of even a losing bonus-point.

Bracknell News:

Bracknell tried their hardest to snatch something they would have deserved from the game, but a late attack saw the ball held up over the line and the away side seal victory.

Bracknell remain eight points from safety with just seven games now remaining ahead of this Saturday's home game with Ivybridge (2.15pm).

CROWTHORNE return to Berks, Bucks & Oxon Two South action when they visit leaders Aldermaston in a top-of-the-table encounter on Saturday.

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OLLIE Hassell-Collins scored four tries as London Irish recorded a third consecutive Gallagher Premiership win with a 24-20 triumph at home to Gloucester.

Stephen Myler added two conversions to ensure the win, with Ollie Thorley, Charlie Chapman and Louis Rees-Zammit crossing the whitewash for the Cherry and Whites.

Billy Twelvetrees also kicked five points for the visitors.

London Irish welcome Wasps to Madejski Stadium on Sunday (2.30pm).