Brackley RUFC produced one of their best performances of the season to claim the scalp of second-placed Bedford Swifts and re-establish their place in the top four in Midlands 4 East (South).
The match was finely balanced until five minutes from time when Brackley suddenly conjured two stunning tries in quick succession to clinch victory by three tries and two conversions against a just a single penalty.
The home side made a spirited start, catching Swifts off guard with forceful forays into the visitors’ 22, and time and again the Brackley pack were held up just short of Swifts’ line before that early pressure was finally rewarded with a try from hooker Aaron Loggin, with Mike Lowdell adding the extras.
Swifts regrouped, ripping the ball in contact and breaking away upfield before being checked by a fine tackle from winger Jim Hollyoake. Having established decent field position, it was Swifts turn to apply the pressure and and they reduced the arrears to 7-3 at half-time.
An absorbing second half saw Brackley gradually wrestle control of the scrum and as the visitors’ pack ran out of steam, spaces opened up for Brackley’s three-quarters.
Winger Gareth Harvey was first to spot a scoring chance, running the ball from inside his 22 to just over halfway before passing inside to centre Dom Preece, who completed a spectacular dash to the posts for an unconverted try.
Within two minutes, Preece had done it again, picking up a loose ball in almost exactly the same spot he’d received Harvey’s pass and making another dazzling run to touch down behind the posts. This time Lowdell made no mistake with the conversion to seal a 19-3 victory.
With no league match scheduled for next week, Brackley entertain Winslow in a friendly.