Brackley RUFC returned to winning ways with a slender 22-19 victory over bottom of the table Deepings in Midlands Three East South.
After comprehensively losing the first half on the road to Deepings, Brackley recovered sufficiently in the second period to edge home by three points.
Brackley began in lively fashion, the pack driving well into Deepings’ territory where newcomer Matt Lowe came within a whisker of crossing the line.
Deepings survived the storm, though, to take the lead with a converted try on their first foray into Brackley’s half.
The handling of the visitors’ backs was poor as Brackley lost the momentum and surrendered the initiative to allow the hosts to squeeze over in the corner on the stroke of half time for a 12-0 lead.
A transformed Brackley emerged in the second half.
Settled by an early penalty from Mike Lowdell, Brackley began to string together some coherent attacking play.
Ken Marshall-Grant was first over the Deepings line, Lowdell’s conversion bringing the score to 12-10. Five minutes later, prop Graeme Cartmell burst clean through the defence before passing inside for Jon Cooper to stroll over, Lowdell again adding two points to make it 12-17.
When wing Jim Hollyoake raced through for Brackley’s third try and a 10-point lead, it appeared they were on course for a bonus-point win, but Deepings fought back and bagged a converted try that brought them within touching distance of a desperately needed win. It took a try-saving tackle from Paul Brinklow to prevent Deepings touching down again as the referee blowed for full time, much to the relief of the visitors.
This weekend Brackley are at home to Northampton Casuals, who are one place and one point below Brackley.