BRFC 3’s vs The Crows



The Crows began December as they travelled the short distance to local rivals, Bracknell.

Having not played since the 12th of November, due to a bye week and Reading 3’s failure to field a side, Crowthorne were glad to get back on the pitch. Tom Dawkes returned at scrum half, for his first appearance since the 1st of October and George Watson was back at number 8, having missed the previous match.

Bracknell 3’s fielded a very strong side, with no less than 13 changes from the last meeting with Crowthorne in September. Bracknell demonstrated the depth of their player pool, having the luxury of being able to field a number of players with significant 1st and 2nd team experience. At inside centre for Bracknell, was Ben Yates, who had played for Berkshire as recently as June this year, in their run to the County Championship final. Yates proved to be very comfortable at level 9, scoring a hattrick on the day.

The match itself was an abrasive affair, with both sides very physical from the off. Former Bracknell 1’s skipper, Ben Novak, playing at 10, organised the back line well and pinned Crowthorne deep into their 22, with some astute kicking, before a penalty close to the sticks, gave Bracknell the opportunity to take the lead 3-0. Crowthorne, however, rallied hard and soon had a penalty of their own. Holden’s kick deflected off the posts but Shepherd was very quick to react and tackled a Bracknell defender behind his own try line for a 5 metre scrum to the Crows. A strong drive from the pack gave Watson the opportunity to pick and go before being held up just short of the posts and Bracknell cleared their lines. However, Crowthorne kept coming and a break from Shepherd made big yards, before releasing Booth, who gave the try scoring pass for inside centre, Charlie Shackleford, to go over for his 3rd try of the season.

The half finished in similar vein, with big hits all over the field. Sadly for Crowthorne, 3 players were forced to leave the field with head injuries and the constant change in personnel disrupted the flow somewhat. Bracknell managed to get over the line on the stroke of the half time whistle, to take a 10-7 lead at the break.

The opening 10 minutes of the 2nd half were again very tight but a Crowthorne attack, breaking down in the Bracknell 22, proved to be a costly turning point, as Bracknell countered and found space on the left wing, to release Yates for his first try of the day. Another Yates Brother, in the form of Ross, was now on at scrum half and made a big difference to create more space for the backs and get the ball moving quickly. The Yates Brothers are familiar to Crowthorne, having played for us in our previous guise as Broadmoor RFC. At this stage, Crowthorne did manage to pull one back. A well worked try saw Crowthorne recycle the ball near the Bracknell line before it was fed wide to outside centre, Jack Booth, to cross for his first try of the season.

Sadly that was to be the last of Crowthorne’s points on the day and Bracknell managed to cross a few more times, as the Crows heads dropped on a tough day at the office. The final score of 50-14 was probably not a fair reflection of what had been a tight contest for 50 minutes.

The Crows will learn from this and come back stronger. The top 4 sides in the league are now separated by a mere 3 points, with 8 games still to be played. All 4 sides have a record of won 8, lost 2, in what is proving to be a highly competitive league.

Man of the match on the day, went to George Watson, who battled hard up front. There were also notable performances from Clive Shepherd and Chay Smith, who came on as a substitute, after 6 weeks out injured.

Crowthorne finish the year with a home match against Windsor this Saturday. All supporters very welcome as ever, as we look to close out the year on a high and get back on track.


Date Time League Season
03/12/2022 3:00 pm Counties 3 Tribute Berks Bucks & Oxon South 2022-2023


BRFC 3's050Win
The Crows02214Loss

BRFC 3's

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The Crows

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