Cockles denied at the death

PUBLISHED: 14:56 20 February 2009 | UPDATED: 10:31 10 June 2010

BRACKNELL had handed Exmouth a real lesson when the sides met in Berkshire earlier in the season but the Cockles so nearly got their own back with a wonderful effort on Saturday, writes Michael England.

BRACKNELL had handed Exmouth a real lesson when the sides met in Berkshire earlier in the season but the Cockles so nearly got their own back with a wonderful effort on Saturday, writes Michael England.With player coach, former Wasps and England international Chris Sheasby, in charge, they showed Exmouth due respect by travelling down the previous afternoon to prepare for the Saturday fixture.With eighty minutes on the clock, Exmouth were leading 17-15 but both players and supporters knew there was some added injury time and during that short period Bracknell took the lead and Exmouth saw a potential match winning penalty sail just left of the posts. In the early exchanges Ben Hough went close with a long range penalty but it was the visitors who scored first with a penalty on the half hour.A powerful surge led by full back John Bordiss took the Cockles well into the visitors 22 but, when a penalty was awarded, Nick Grant's kick was off target.However the outside half redeemed himself just before the interval when he broke from the half way line before creating space for centre Dale Sleeman to cross the Bracknell line.The try was duly converted and Exmouth trooped off with a 7-3 lead.A poor start to the second half undid all the home side's fine first half work when they shipped a dozen points within six short minutes.A John Bordiss run from deep went close and a knock on close to the line denied a certain try. The pressure finally told and, with twenty minutes to play, Nick Grant scored a penalty. Exmouth were now well on top. Jack Downie looked to have scored but the referee judged the final pass to be forward, but they did indeed score when Tom Elliot finished off a move following a tap penalty. Nick Grant converted and, with five minutes plus injury time to be played, the Cockles led 17-15.With two extra minutes played, indiscipline gifted a penalty to Nowak in front of the posts to give Bracknell the lead and the final sting came two minutes later when Nick Grant's more difficult penalty sailed just outside the posts with the referee blowing for time immediately after.So near, yet so far for the Cockles who travel to Berkshire side Redingensians, currently mid table, three places above Exmouth.

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