The mighty threes were looking to continue winning ways after a solid win on the road at Marlow the week before. Unfortunately with injuries and player unavailability selection proved to be a huge headache for Munro and Ledger. As late as Saturday morning the 3’s were unsure of whether there would be a fly half in the team and then Ni “I’m not a fly half” Butler was heli-dropped in and the team was finalised. As if that wasn’t enough for one week the warm up was also hampered by pitch issues. The second teams opposition were refusing to play on pitch 2 due to some small frosty bits and therefore their match was switched to pitch 3. After close examination of the pitch both Bracknell’s captain (Rob Munro) and the Beaconsfield skipper agreed that the game should go ahead.
Under less than ideal circumstances the match was on and perhaps not surprising Bracknell started slowly and conceded an early try to the visitors who were looking to hold onto their position at the top of the league. This seemed to spur the home side into action with the forwards increasing the work rate round the park and the backs beginning to apply some pressure. The home scrum started to dominate early on and the lineout was also working well allow Bracknell to maintain a decent level of possession. Eventually Bracknell were able to put pressure of the visitors line and shades of last season emerged with the forwards producing a strong push over try. The conversion was missed and the scores were tied.
Bracknell enjoyed some more attacking moments in the first half and then on the stroke of half time a loose pace found its way to a Beaconsfield player who looked for all the world to be in for a run away try. The Bracknell back three had other ideas chasing back and holding the attack up on the line with returning full back Christian Austin turning over possession and hightailing it off the pitch. The ref blew for half time and it is clear that this had been a match defining moment.
The second half began with Beaconsfield picking up the pass and managed to gain territory and put sustained pressure on the Bracknell line but several charges were knocked back with an outstanding defensive effort all round. Eventually Bracknell were able to work away and work the ball into the other half of the pitch with a tough penalty chance converted by the leagues on kicking hooker Stu’y Laye!! Bracknell took the lead for the first time at 8-5. During a customary bout of handbags one of the Beaconsfield players seemed to mistake scrum half Mark Egan’s head for a bowling ball and one of his eyes for a hole for his finger. Unfortunately the ref missed this and Mark and the offending opposition player were sent for a ten minute rest. The game remained tense during the final 20 mins but Bracknell managed to hold firm and in the final few minutes showed that lessons had been learned from previous matches with the forward controlling the ball with a series of catch and drives from the lineout ensuring that the visitors had no chance to get the ball. This was despite a rush of blood to the head by prop Chris ‘blob’ Preston who went for a quick tap penalty but was pulled back by team mates. With the clock successfully ‘ran down’ refreshed scrum half Egan cleared the ball off the pitch and the celebrations began!!
A massive thanks to a huge squad effort especially the guys on the bench who didn't get on but without whom the game would not have been possible!!!
Next week is the final league weekend of 2011 with the three’s travelling up to local rivals Reading Abbey and the fours taking on Reading in a top of the table clash.