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15

APR

Wootton Bassett 2XV 10 - Marlborough 55
Marlborough took the latest step in their bid to finish the Wilts and Dorset season undefeated with a convincing victory against their local rivals. Marlborough could have been forgiven for thinking their task was a matter of just turning up, after the 100 point thumping of the hosts before Christmas, but their thoughts soon turned to simply grinding out a result as Bassett had the better start. A much changed Bassett side were attacking Marlborough, taking the game to them, through their impressive centre pairing. When Marlborough infringed after just a couple of minutes, the hosts kicked the penalty to open a 3-0 lead to stun the visitors. Marlborough had not yet been in the Bassett half. Fortunately for the visitors this kick-started their afternoon and the next time Bassett registered a score was with the final play of the game. The game was dominated by the Marlborough pack, taking the game to the Bassett forwards with strong runs from Skipper Dave Lemon and the front row of Billy Trevaskis, Tom Phillips and Carl Lay which caused problems all afternoon for the home side. This combination produced an impressive 6 tries between them, with Lay scoring a hat-trick, Lemon a brace and Trevaskis one. Trevaskis dedicated his burly effort to the Marlborough under 12ís and especially scrum half Louis Haisman whom he coaches after they made it into the finals of their Dorset and Wilts competition recently. Further forward breaks in the game for 2nd rows Patch Campbell and Jamie Pittams led to a try for Campbell on his return to the first team but unfortunately Pittams was held up short of the line as he looked to score his first points of the season which would have been thoroughly deserved after another dominant performance in the lineout (the celebratory chicken dance continues to elude the Marlborough faithful). 2 further tries were scored by Marlborough which were expertly completed by flanker Joe Mitchell and to make it a day not just for the forwards, Jonny Mantle also crossed in the corner, following some great work from the Marlborough backline. Wing Nathan Morgan sadly only converted 5 of the 9 tries in a surprising off day with the boot, however during the game he passed 300 points for the season. Marlborough will be annoyed however that they let Bassett cross for a converted try with the last play of the game. A strong point all season of the visiting team has been their sterling defence so letting the home side score a try really frustrated them putting a slight dampener on the performance. However Marlborough are now 21 wins from 21 league games and have Melksham next weekend (away) to try and complete a 100% league season - a heroic feat for any side in any sport. The Marlborough players will be putting everything they can into winning this game to give retiring captain Lemon the send off he thoroughly deserves after leading the team by example for the last 3 seasons.
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