Brackley edged out and pay penalty for missed chances

Dan Kimber scores for Brackley against Aylestone St James. Photo: Neale Hutchinson
Dan Kimber scores for Brackley against Aylestone St James. Photo: Neale Hutchinson

Despite a battling display, Brackley were edged out by a single point against Aylestone St James.

The visitors emerged 6-5 victors in Saturday’s Midlands Four East South fixture to complete the double over Brackley.

The first half saw both teams have a couple of chances to score, winger Charles Reaston-Brown going close out wide, followed by some relentless power from the home pack. But the Aylestone defence stood firm and just before halftime James Giddins picked up a yellow card for a late tackle.

An early second half penalty saw Aylestone break the deadlock. Brackley made a couple of changes and, back to full strength, they secured a good spell of territory and possession, aided by some ill-discipline from the visitors.

Following success up front in the first half, Brackley relied on the power up front for their try. A series of pick and goes, interspersed by a brief attack from the back line, saw Dan Kimber burrow over from very close range.

But Dan Gray failed to add the extras from the touch line and that proved decisive. Aylestone’s one dimensional game plan suited the conditions but Brackley’s defence proved hard to break through with Luke Hallam Evans impressing.

But a cheap offside saw the visitors kick their second penalty to regain the advantage. Wise heads in the opposition pack controlled the last moments of the game as Aylestone wound the clock down.

With Aylestone eating away time with scrums and line-outs, the home side could not get hands on the ball. It was a tough defeat to take for Brackley, having fought hard throughout 80 minutes.

Brackley travel to Bedford Swifts this weekend and head coach Michael Clark said: “Over recent weeks our defence has been outstanding and kept us in some great contests but our failure to convert opportunities is killing us.

“Saturday was another game in which we created more than enough chances to get a couple of scores. It was tough conditions but we need to learn and learn fast.”