Brackley fail to recover from an early setback

Brackley's Gareth Harvey off-loads against Queens. Photo: Neale Hutchinson
Brackley's Gareth Harvey off-loads against Queens. Photo: Neale Hutchinson

Despite a strong second half performance, Brackley lost 48-19 in Saturday’s Midlands Four East South fixture at Queens.

Brackley failed to recover from the early loss of No 8 Nick Tustain who was forced from the field with a torn muscle after just seven minutes.

The visitors were still adjusting to that loss when the Queens heavier scrum powered forward on their own put-in and surged over the line for a converted try.

The visitors struggled to find favour with the referee, being penalised time and again for offences at the breakdown and losing much hard-won ground. Pushed back into their 22, Brackley were stretched by the Queens three-quarters, creating a gap in front of the posts for a second try.

Brackley steadied the ship before Queens crossed in quick succession with replacement flanker Neil Shackleton being sin-binned in between.

Though down to 14 men, as well as losing skipper Will Cooper and centre Nathan Archer to injury soon after the restart, Brackley had the better of the opening exchanges but Queens pulled their defence apart to open the way for two more tries.

Brackley’s willingness to run the ball from almost any position paid off when from inside his 22, Shackleton fed winger Paul Brinklow who sped over the halfway mark before passing inside to centre Gareth Harvey who outpaced the defence to dab down and add the conversion.

That produced a response and a seventh try from Queens. But Harvey responded immediately with the best try of the game, carrying the ball on a mazy run from a breakdown well inside his half, evading or outpacing defenders before touching down between the sticks.

He added the extras but Queens added another converted try before Harvey repeated his earlier exploits.

Harvey carried the ball from deep inside his own territory, breaking one tackle then escaping another before floating the ball to the left wing where a Queens boot inadvertently hacked it on for fullback Phil Brinklow and his twin brother Paul Brinklow to chase down and grab an unconverted try in the corner.