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Marlborough 17 - Oldfield Old Boys 43
Oldfield Old Boys from Bath were the visitors to the common on Saturday in a game that Marlborough knew they had to raise their game for. Ex-captain Dave Lemon appeared for the first time this season in a side changed from the away trip to North Dorset last week as players returned from injury.
Marlborough however started the game slowly as has been the case for the majority of the season, and found themselves 19-0 down after the opening exchanges. Some good lines of running from the Oldfield backs (following some very well worked driving mauls) opened up opportunities for the Bath side which they took very well. After this however, Marlborough started to play some positive rugby and matched their opponents every step of the way. Flanker Jonny Mantle scored Marlborough’s first points after breaking off from a lineout and beating a handful of defenders with his powerful run. This was just one moment from a handful on a brilliant day for Mantle as he turned in a man of the match performance. With wing Nathan Morgan adding the extras, Marlborough thought they were back in the game. On the next trips to the Oldfield half, Marlborough were making the visitors panic, and with this they infringed. However Morgan was off range with a couple of penalty attempts in the battle to lessen the deficit with Oldfield managing a further try before half time. Marlborough knew the 2nd half would be a struggle.
The half time team talk was inspiring, as Captain Jon Crowe, coaches Gary Sharp and Neil Osborne and Lemon all said a few words and Marlborough were fired up and ready to go. Unfortunately for Marlborough however the visitors scored the first couple of tries of the half, to take a further lead. Marlborough stuck to their task however and tries in the half followed for wing Guy De Vos (crossing in the corner) and Shaun Anderson, again crossing in the corner after a great sniping run from scrum half James Smith.
There were some positives that could be taken from the match, with Marlborough not giving up the fight and, in patches, outplaying Oldfield. It is just a case of doing this for 80 minutes now. Marlborough do not have a game next Saturday which should give time for their injured players to make a recovery and return to full fitness. The next game is at the common against Sherborne at 2.30pm on 13th November.
Author: Nathan Morgan

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