Combe Down 3 – 17 Marlborough
Marlborough won a very competitive, top of the table clash with Combe Down to put themselves top of the table at Christmas. It was a bitterly cold afternoon with a strong wind across the pitch. Both sides started with determination and tying to control the game. The away team were getting on top in the scrums but the home team were better to the break downs. The stalemate was eventually broken when Marlborough outside half Russell Westcott made a sharp break, he passed out to right wing Laurence Baker who made 15 metres before a good inside pass to Jack Lynd who powered over the line. Baker missed the conversion. The tight game continued with Marlborough having the better of the territory, with some penalty infringements meaning Nathan Morgan could pin the hosts in their own 25. From one of these penalties, a good line out take by captain Jonny Mantle was driven forward and coach Chris Budgen went over for the try. This time Morgan missed the conversion. A penalty in front of the posts was also missed by Baker to leave the half time score 10 – 0 to the visitors.
The second half saw Combe Down score first with a penalty. The home team had raised their game and were looking threatening. There was a good battle in the centre of midfield with Jack Wright and Avenai Cakaunitavuki making some powerful breaks but also having to defend well against 2 quick Combe Down centres. The visitors pack was dominate at the scrums with number 8 Nick Clarke controlling the ball well and using his strength with some good breaks. Added to this scrum half Amori Nailago was having a man of the match performance and always getting his backs going forward. Eventually the pressure of the scrums told and after another powerful scrum and good control by Clarke the referee was left with no choice but to give a penalty try, converted by Morgan. This made the score 17-3 which was to remain the final score.
Marlborough and Pewsey combined 2nds, the Alfreds Nomads had a good win with a 42-5 score against Calne 2nds.
The senior teams now have a 2 week break on no game until 10th January. Training will be on 30th, 31st December and 3rd January over the festive period.