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Marlborough 21 - Minety 5
Marlborough played their first game for 3 weeks on Saturday, and came away with a victory against the side that were top of the table before the weekend’s games.
The visitors won the toss and decided to play up the slope in the first half, but crucially with the strong wind behind them. This didn’t deter Marlborough, who, straight from the off, attacked the Minety line, pushing back their forwards in the driving maul, and making hard yards around the base rucks.
Marlborough’s first score came after about half an hour, when Captain Dave Lemon broke from a maul and crashed over. Nathan Morgan missed with the conversion, his only failure on a blustery day. Marlborough had crossed the line twice before their first score, with the ball being firstly held up, and then being knocked on over the line when attempting to ground.
Morgan added a penalty with the final play of the first half, after Minety indiscipline had left an easy attempt in front of the posts.
At half time Marlborough knew their visitors would come our firing, ready to use the slope to their advantage. The Marlborough game plan was to use the wind to assist them, and play the game in the Minety half, allowing no territory.
As the wind and rain howled around the Common, the game was never going to be pretty, and many unforced errors from both sides clarified this. It was the hosts, however, who crossed for the first score of the half, with fly half John Crowe receiving a pass from Scrum Half Owen Lucas, and evading 2 tackles before crossing. Morgan added the extras for a 15-0 lead. Indiscipline led to Minety giving away a further penalty, which Morgan again converted, for an 18-0 lead. This seemed to fire up the Minety pack, who went straight down to the other end of the field and scored a try of their own, through a well executed driving maul in which most of the backs were also involved. The conversion attempt was short, meaning Minety still had to score 2 converted tries. However, Marlborough knew the clock was on their side, and straight from the kick off, proceeded to play out the remaining minutes by not looking to score but merely keep possession in their attacking half. This frustrated Minety, who again gave away a penalty for handling in the ruck trying to gain possession, and with the referee saying the game would finish after the penalty, Marlborough opted to kick for posts, again successfully, to extend their lead to 21-5. The final whistle was met by cheers from the Marlborough players and spectators, as they felt they owed Minety a performance after their early poor performance in the corresponding fixture.
Marlborough can take heart from this performance going into Saturday’s re-arranged Wilts and Dorset plate final, against Swindon College Old Boys. The final takes place at Swindon Rugby Clubs’ Greenbridge Road ground, with kick off at 3pm.

Marlborough’s 2nd XV travelled to Sutton Benger, and lost by 41-7. Credit must be given to the 2nd XV as they managed to stay with their opponents until half time, when the score was 7-7. The hosts ran in numerous tries in the second half to secure a win.

Marlborough 1st XV Vs Minety: Trevaskis, Whatley, Pike, Clarkson, Dobie, Clancy, Mitchell, Lemon; Lucas, Crowe, Stacey, Hill, Mantle, Morgan, Baker.

Reps: Patterson, Mick, Dopson.

Tries: Lemon, Crowe. Cons: Morgan. Penalties: Morgan (3)

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