Brackley are primed for big clash with promotion rivals

Seb Johnson breaks away to score for Brackley at Wellingborough OG's. Photo: Neale Hutchinson
Seb Johnson breaks away to score for Brackley at Wellingborough OG's. Photo: Neale Hutchinson

Brackley go into this weekend’s clash with promotion rivals Aylestone St James in good form.

They beat Wellingborough OG’s 22-5 in Saturday’s Midlands Four East South fixture.

In good conditions, Brackley started the game strongly, pinning Wellingborough in their 22 but the hosts held firm and were able to alleviate the pressure.

The Wellingborough back row were everywhere on the pitch throughout the game with big tackles, turnovers at ruck time and strong direct running. It was the hosts who opened the scoring when their flanker made a powerful break down the left side to get past the last man to score.

From the restart, Brackley increased their intensity and pace, which Wellingborough struggled to cope with. Dominating possession and territory, Brackley got their first score of the match, putting the ball through the hands before full back Seb Johnson sliced his way through the hosts’ defensive line to score in the corner and even things up.

Brackley continued to keep the pressure on Wellingborough for the remainder of the first period and on the stroke of halftime got another try as second row Joe Staniforth powered his way through several Wellingborough defenders to score. Johnson’s conversion made it 12-5 at the break.

Knowing that the hosts were struggling with their pace of play, Brackley continued to dominate in the second half. A line-out near the Wellingborough ten metre line saw the Brackley forwards create a maul which drove Wellingborough back towards their try line at a rate of knots before crashing over with hooker Mikey Clark emerging with the ball.

The visitors went looking for the bonus point try and a loose ball found its way to wing George Altham, he beat several Wellingborough defenders to get Brackley into the 22. After a couple of phases that threatened the hosts’ try line, the ball was whipped wide back to Altham who dived over in the corner to make it 22-5.

With the game all but lost, Wellingborough made the last 20 minutes a lot more scrappy and Brackley started to give away penalties, which led to Jonny Morris being sin-binned and allowed Wellingborough to dominate possession and territory for the remainder of the game. However the visitors’ defence was resolute and were able to get a crucial turnover at the end to finish off the game.