Brackley 14 Stamford College OB 10
Stamford College Old Boys were unable to make it a hat-trick of victories over Brackley after losing their Midlands 4 East (South) opener on Saturday.
They had completed the double over their hosts last season and were eagerly looking forward to getting their season underway.
However, they started the game slowly with their forwards struggling to win clean ball for young scrum half Callum Johns to feed his backs.
Aled Pattinson started the game strongly by putting in some big hits on the opposing players, but this wasn’t enough to stop Brackley making their way up the pitch and Old Boys conceding a penalty just outside their 22 which the home 10 slotted over.
This woke the College up and they started making ground through Dan Thompson and Liam Greenslade in the centres and allowing Briely-Lewis in the game to attack down the wing.
College made their way down the pitch, deep inside the Brackley 22, and were awarded for their efforts with a penalty which Haydn Johns calmly slotted to make the score 3-3.
The College pack were dominating the line out with Pattinson and Darlington winning on all occasions.
This gave Johns a platform to feed his backs but they were cut down by the quick Brackley defence.
The ever-present Smith was there clearing out but, with a couple of minutes left in the half Thompson was given a yellow card, and Brackley grabbed a 6-3 interval lead.
The second half saw the College side pushing up the pitch and they were able to bring on the fresh legs of Pip Youngs at number 10.
This allowed Johns to move to outside centre which gave College more pace in the centres and on the wings.
Callum Johns was on the receiving end of some brutal hits but gave as much as he got.
College conceded a try when the Brackley number 10 saw some space and kicked over the back line allowing their winger to catch the ball and run in an unconverted try for an 11-3 lead.
The College penalty count began to rise and soon allowed Brackley another sniff at the posts to make the score 14-3 with 10 minutes left.
College began to make inroads up the pitch and, with stern words from Pattinson, they began to put the phases together deep inside the Brackley 22.
Pickerill thought he had scored the bonus point try but realised he was five metres short so Johns passed the ball to Youngs who popped it up nicely for Thompson to run under the posts.
Johns, with the last kick of the game, converted the try as College were edged out 14-10.
Old Boys travel to East Retford for the RFU Cup on Saturday.
Man of the match: Dan Smith.
College: Hickman, Smith, Pickerill, Fraser, Darlington,Matthews, Kippax, Pattinson, C. Johns, H. Johns, Briely-Lewis, Thompson, Greenslade, Flanders, Youngs, Durrant.