Cockles fail to score in an away game for only the third time in 111 outings in defeat at Bracknell
PUBLISHED: 14:49 27 October 2019 | UPDATED: 21:01 27 October 2019
Exmouth failed to register a point in an away fixture for just the third time in 111 outings as they went down 12-0 at a Bracknell side who started the day at the foot of the South West Premier Division table.
Tries for the home side by Ian Burch and Ben Yates, one converted, was enough to send the Cockles to defeat.
Despite the score line, the Cockles were totally dominant at scrum time and they made effective and incisive breaks throughout the game courtesy of Nick Headley, Matt Ryan and Lewis Geran, getting themselves into scoring positions throughout the match.
Unfortunately, they could not get across the try line, with a final knock on, turnover and penalty awarded against them under the post.
This was a scrappy affair that on balance, the hosts deserved to shade after crafting two scores out wide.
They also defended resolutely which was frustrating the Cockles. Bracknell did to them what they had done to Okehampton a few weeks ago.
Scoring opportunities did come; George Meadows had a couple of shots from the tee for penalties, but the furious weather didn't help and both efforts missed the target.
The line out misfired a couple of times and that meant scrapping for ball that they should have secured. Front five Charlie Tribble, Nick Halse, Shane Cooper who put in several big hits, Steve Pape and skipper Jack Fahy ensured the Bracknell scrum spent most of the afternoon going backwards.
Back row Dan Armstrong, Charlie Mears and Dave Bargent were industrious about the park. The introduction of James Goss and Joe Harris, during the second half, ensured continuity and control. The Cockles lost centre Nick Headley, who took a knock early on and was replaced by Jack Downie, but the switch was seamless with Downie also keeping stable patterns.
Throughout the afternoon there were a few positional changes with the lad for James Bath and Jacob Unwin.
In the final 10 minutes Bracknell picked up a yellow card when replacement prop Challenor was caught on an infringement as Exmouth were on the attack.
The Cockles chose to scrum the penalty, as they had total dominance, instead of sending on a prop to replace the sin bin player, the hosts opted for uncontested scrums. Once again trying the visitor's patience, as this nullified their great strength.
The game ended with a very damp fizzle, the Cockles would be very disappointed, perhaps with their whole game management.
They now have two weeks until their next outing, a big home game against south Devon rivals Brixham on October 9.
With the Rugby World Cup final between England and South Africa on Saturday (November 2), there is no club action with The Cockles supporting the Red Rose at the clubhouse and all comers will be made very welcome.