Mawle and Cartmell keep Brackley in promotion race

Graeme Cartmell races away to score for Brackley at Kempston. Photo: Neale Hutchinson
Graeme Cartmell races away to score for Brackley at Kempston. Photo: Neale Hutchinson

Brackley hit the ground running on their return to competitive rugby.

They won 62-12 at basement boys Kempston in Saturday’s Midland Four East South fixture to keep their promotion hopes on track.

Brackley made several unforced errors and gave away penalties to allow the hosts to take control of the territory. But a deep kick was caught by full-back George Altham, who left several Kempston defenders clutching at air before being brought down near the ten metre line, second row Stefon Webb kept the play alive with a pick-and-go into the hosts’ 22 before off-loading to the supporting Gareth Rees who got the opening try.

The visitors took control of the game but loose passes meant they couldn’t play within the structure they wanted. A turnover at scrum time on the Kempston 22 led to the second try as Joe Staniforth went on rampaging run from the back of the scrum before passing to scrum half Andy Mawle who stepped past the covering defence to dot down.

That was soon followed by some good work from the forwards close to the hosts’ try line as captain Luke Hallam-Evans crashed over in the corner to make it 19-0.

With a strong lead established, Brackley lost concentration when Kempston broke into the 22 with a good kick return and they kept the ball alive to score in the corner. The visitors quickly got back into the Kempston 22 where a kick was charged down by inside centre Nathan Archer to score an easy try.

The bonus point try came after some strong running in the Kempston 22 created gaps in the home side’s defensive line allowing prop Graeme Cartmell to charge through.

In the second half the visitors eventually got a sixth try when a strong rolling maul from a line-out led to Stefon Webb diving over, followed by Cartmell making yet another break and the supporting Mawle got his second try.

Kempston took advantage of a mix up to go over but Cartmell made an excellent break and, after some good support play from wing Henry Pearson and flanker Niall Morrow, he got his second score of the game. Brackley finished with a flurry as Staniforth powered over from close range to get Brackley’s tenth try, with fly half Mike Lowdell adding his sixth conversion.