The Cockles were outplayed by a side fighting relegation and they fully deserved their win 27-14. Not too similar result to the away trip earlier in the season. The Cockles got off to a poor start, after 2 minutes, Bracknell worked their field position to put in a neat cross-field chip for wing Simon Bayliss to gather on the run and touch down, converted by Vic Hardwicke. 5 minutes later and Exmouth were attacking; a miss timed pass was intercepted for Full Back Gabe Hills to run, fully 50 metres, under the posts, converted by Hardwicke 14-0 with not even 10 minutes on the clock. Even at this point all felt that Exmouth could get back in the game, the next score went to Prop Charlie Tribble after some fine work by the forward pack, Full-Back Sam Whitehead slotted the extras for 7-14 on 12 minutes. The Cockles were back in the game and looking to draw level. A long period of play saw the home side camped on the visitors try line seeking the score however they eventually came up empty handed. Full credit to Bracknell defensive set, throughout the afternoon the repelled every attack that The Cockles threw at them. It took fully 30 minutes for the next score for Bracknell just on half time, conversion missed 7-19 at the break.
The second period would produce a tough arm wrestle from both teams, Steve Pape, James Harris, Ben Hawley, Shane Cooper, Will Ridout, Connor O’Shaughnessy with Skipper Jack Fahy worked hard to establish a platform. Bracknell countered and closed that game out with their bonus point try from Ian Burch on 47 minutes, 7-24. Once again the battle continued, George Savage and James Goss arrived from the bench to join the forwards and Exmouth finally got scant reward for their toil when Dave Bargent went over for a try, converted by replacement Tom Whelan 24-14. The visitors had the final say with a penalty to finish 14-27.
George Meadows marshaled the back line with Nick Headley, Mark Wathes and debutant Finlay Marks on the wing trying to find a way through the tight Bracknell defence.
The Cockles will regroup at training this week, after the disappointment of Saturday and focus on their next game, Brixham away. An important league game but also a Cup Game also. Plenty to work on, with a potential reward waiting.