Brackley 8- 25 Queens
Queens secured promotion back to Midlands 3 with a 25-8 victory over Brackley.
The travelling side struggled to put their stamp on the game in the opening exchanges with Brackley, rather suprisingly considering what was at stake, looking the hungrier in all aspects of play. Brackley were rewarded during this period slotting a penalty to go 3-0 up.
Queens then would miss one long range penalty attempt to even the scores but Chris Bell, sponsored by Core Performance Crossfit, evened the scores with an effort from under the posts 3-3.
The away side were now beginning to play all their rugby in Brackleys own 22 and the pressure finally told with a score from Stacy Yates. Bell converted to make the scores 10-3 to Queens.
For the remainder of the second half possession and territory was all Queens. This pressure was rewarded just prior to half time as Player / Coach Ashley Tapper took a quick tap penalty feeding Chris Faalau who drew the onrushing defence to put his compatriot Zac Faumui through for his 4th try of the season. Bell converted 17-3 to Queens at half time.
Predictably, with the slope and elements in their favour Brackley had their own purple patch during the opening exchanges of the second half. This resulted in their only score of the game coming from a succession of agressive pick and go's close to Queens line.
Queens then took it back to the hosts with Del Starling, Dave Hull and Jon Wells running back Brackleys clearance kicks with agression as gaps began to appear. It was only poor decision making, handling errors and the odd dubious refereeing decision (who to be fair was spot on for the most part!) that saw Queens fail to extend their lead during this period.
However, with 20 minutes to go the tie was settled with a superb score from Del Starling. Chris Bell would kick a further penalty to secure promotion.
Well done to everyone involved. As the season has progressed the injury list and unavailability list has grown, especially for a small squad, so to secure promotion is a great achievement.
Full credit to Brackley who proved to be a hugely physical outfit in both encounters this season. A great set up also, good luck next season guys!
There were a few individual performances of note, Del Starling and Jon Wells both ran with intensity throughout but MOTM went to hooker Alex Wright for his superb carrying.
This weekend Queens take on Deepings and look to end their season on a high and maintain their unbeaten home league form. It is also possible, yet improbable, that Queens can still be crowned champions. A win would need to be followed by Sileby losing their last two. It could happen...but probably wont!