MATCH VERDICT: Bourne bag losing bonus point for quartet of tries at Brackley
Bourne coach Dave Maudsley drew plenty of positives from a game where three key players, including himself, were missing from the team.
Skipper Tom Dixon, scrum half Harry Thornburn and Maudley at number eight were all absentees that appeared to have weakened the spine of the Bourne side.
But in a game where points were exchanged freely between the two sides, only a lapse in decision-making by Bourne five minutes from time let Brackley in for a penalty to clinch the match.
Maudsley said: “There was a point where we drifted away and then we were back in it,
“But I though the referee made a very poor decision when he awarded Brackley a try in the corner which seemed dubious.
“I don’t think they deserved that, even though they looked like a stroing and organised side, with a large pack.
There were about five minutes left, with Brackley 31-26 up, and our mistake was to try something flamboyant in our own half which led to a penalty under the points
“But judging by the warm-up before the game, they weren’t as good in the backs and out wide.”
Bourne bagged a bonus point by virtue of scoring four tries in the match, centre Sam Thornburn with two of them.
Wingers Donald Sweeting and Rob Bentley each went over the try line once, while full back Jack Berry kicked three out of four conversion attempts.
Maudsley said: “We went into the game looking a little bit without our shape in the warm-up.
“Brackley scored first and I thought it was going to be a long day.
“But we clawed our way back into it and it was tit for tat all the way through.
“At 24-12, I did think that it might be the end for us.
“But then we scored again, they scored and we scored after that.
“There were about five minutes left, with Brackley 31-26 up, and our mistake was to try something flamboyant in our own half which led to a penalty under the points.
“That point put Brackley eight points up, instead of five, and that was down to our excitement at having a chance to win the game.
“Despite the bonus point against a well-drilled Brackley side, the lads were rightly disappointed not to have sneaked the win.”
In a change to the scheduled fixture, Bourne are in Midlands Junior Vase second round action away at Nottingham Moderns on Saturday.
BRACKLEY: Giddins, Logsworth, Hallam-Evans, Morris, Wallis, Newman, Cooper, Andrew, Gray, Lowdell, Cooper, Lowe, Wise, Robinson, Brinklow. Subs: Barth, Robinson, Jones, Kimber, Hollyoake.
BOURNE: Rushton, Xipu, Wheeler, Mambey, Hiscocks, Hume, Binns, Lindley, Giullari, Lagdon, Harvey, S. Thornburn, Sweeting, Bentley, Berry, Subs: Wilcox, A. Dixon, Douglas, Keast.
TRIES: (For Bourne): Thornburn (2), Sweeting, Bentley.
CONVERSIONS: Berry (3).