Chiltern winning run comes to an end at Bracknell
An intense, back and forth game lost to a last gasp try from the hosts
It was safe to say that the Chiltern players were less than impressed with the state of the Bracknell pitch which contained barely a blade of grass anywhere between the two opposing try lines. Nevertheless Chiltern had their heads right for what they knew would be a very tough game against last years Champions.
As always Chiltern fielded a much changed side but got off to a good start with an early try from Michael Shaw who did well to burrow over from a few yards out. Unconverted for a 0-5 lead.
Bracknell came back strongly with good forward play from the line out (which was a theme throughout the afternoon) and scored with a pushover try from a maul. 7-5 Bracknell.
Your reporters memory is quite hazy but to summarise Bracknell scored again with a pick and drive close to the line, which went unconverted to make it 12-5 at the half.
However Chiltern responded brilliantly to turn the game around and lead 12-15 through a penalty and a fantastic solo try (converted) scored by Daley Aremu. Unfortunately Chiltern conceded almost straight away with good forward play taking Bracknell 5 meters out before they touched down. Converted so Bracknell had a 4 point lead (19-15) with 10 minutes to go.
With about 4 minutes left Chiltern thought they had done enough to win it. A series of great phases took Chiltern to all the way up the pitch, with strong carries from a number of players and the try was scored by Joe Batt to give Chilts a 1 point lead with only a few minutes to play.
Sadly with roughly a minute to go Bracknell got the match winning try despite fantastic defense on the line to prevent 4 or 5 burrowing efforts. A great contest to be involved in and the effort of both sides was much appreciated by the onlooking supporters.
In truth, Bracknell had the more solid game plan but Chiltern created more than enough opportunities that would have seen them score 3 or 4 more tries on a better day. The difference was in the penalties given away that allowed Bracknell possession back a multitude of times in the first half and the errors/ (at times) superior ruck play by Bracknell forwards during the second half.
The lads wished to thank the travelling supporters for their commitment to endure 80 minutes of rugby in very cold and wet conditions.