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26

NOV

Chippenham 2XV 50 - Marlborough 32
On Saturday, a still, cold, winters afternoon, the closely contested match
between Chippenham and Marlborough, notorious for the confrontational
nature of the fixture, delivered a feisty contest that warmed the blood of all
who watched.
Eighty minutes delivered 80 odd points in a game that ebbed and flowed with
Chippenham only managing to put the game beyond Marlborough, with two
scores, in the last 10 minutes.
Despite the open nature of the game, both teams will feel disappointed with
the 2 yellows (1 apiece) and 1 red card (Chippenham) that were brandished by
the official. Both teams endeavoured to play open running rugby and attacked
the gain line with gusto. The recycled ball was then generally put wide for the
backs to enjoy a run. This style provided for an entertaining and enjoyable
game for all the spectators who attended.
The game started with two quick tries for Chippenham early on. Marlborough
then came back into the game when Chippenham had a player in the sin bin
and Marlborough scored a penalty and a try. As each team attempted to
dominate the game, the scoreboard reflected the even nature of the contest at
half time with Chippenham 22-20 up at the whistle.
Early on in the second half, Marlborough had a player in the sin bin and
Chippenham cashed in with 3 tries that left Marlborough at bit flat footed.
When the Marlborough player returned from the bin, the pace of the
Marlborough game picked up again and with two quick tries, Marlborough
took the game to Chippenham. With 10 minutes to go Chippenham were 36-
32 up and Marlborough looked back in the hunt.
In the last 10 minutes, Chippenham managed to wrestle the door closed on the
Marlborough resurgence with two scores that put the fixture beyond the
young side from east Wiltshire.
The teams will be pleased with the tempo and pace of the game and proud of
the style of rugby that both teams tried to play. Chippenham in particular, will
take heart, after a few heavy and disappointing defeats to lower ranked teams,
on days when many of their regulars were in the 1st’s due to injury at the level
above.
Marlborough can take pride from a game where they showed courage and the
ability to handle the physicality of a tough fixture. Perhaps of even greater
importance were the bravery, heart and character shown by the younger
members of the team. The Marlborough youngsters “kissed the blade” and for
this their team mates will be content.
Whatever the future holds for the Marlborough team, the club certainly have a
group of players who can dig deep, count on each other and keep pushing
when the going gets tough. Let us who watch rugby put our hands together for
these gladiators.

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