By Jamie Arrowsmith 18/04 Updated: 24/04 16:28
Brackley 17 Rugby St Andrews 32
Midlands Three East (South)
SAINTS overcame bottom of the table Brackley in their final away game of the season on Saturday despite having to make a number of late changes to their side.
Brackley applied some early pressure but found themselves behind in the seventh minute when Saints took the lead against the run of play.
After the forwards did well to secure clean possession, centre Mark Brightwell appeared on the blind side to crash over despite having three defenders hanging on to him.
The hosts showed they were not going to roll over and die though as they levelled the scores three minutes later when Cartmell crossed the try line.
Saints responded by setting up good position in the Brackley 22 and when the hosts infringed at a ruck, Ryan Taylor slotted the resulting penalty to regain the lead.
The visitors looked good whenever they moved the ball wide and were denied further scores by forward passes and wrong options whilst Brackley defended resolutely.
Brackley also showed Saints they were in the game by making good strong runs themselves which at times stretched Saints' defence but the hosts were unable to find a way through.
Back at the other end, Saints extended their lead on the stroke of half time with Taylor crossing for a try which he also converted.
The third quarter of the game was a stalemate between the sides as neither were able to trouble the scoreboard despite being stretched at times.
Matthew Butlin, back involved after a nine-week injury lay-off, finally scored the first points of the second half after 61 minutes when he was driven over after Callum McPhillips stole Brackley's line-out deep inside their 22.
Brackley's second try of the game followed six minutes later when they made the most of some weak tackling but Saints hit back instantly with their bonus point try. After turning possession over, they moved the ball wide for Sam White to cross for a try, Taylor converted.
Good pace from the backs then saw Taylor draw the defenders before feeding Tom White who outpaced the covering defence to score with 74 minutes gone.
The final word went to the hosts though when Cartmell grabbed his second try of the contest after spotting a gap in Saints' defence and Ling converted.
Saints bring their league campaign to an end on Saturday when they entertain already promoted Biggleswade who will still have an outside chance of claiming the league title.
THE 2nds travelled to Leighton Buzzard 2nds but returned with a 22-5 defeat to their name.
It was better news for the Colts though who won 39-5 at Nuneaton Old Eds.
The victory saw Saints reap the rewards for all of their hard work in their first season and came against a side who had beaten them twice already this campaign.
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