Banbury 38 - 19 Marlborough
On Saturday, Marlborough travelled over the border into Oxfordshire to play the return leg of this league fixture. The sun was out, the air was fresh, and hopes were high of another good performance. Unfortunately, this was not to be the case; in the warm up Will Grant gave the team a scare when there was concern as to whether he would be able to play due to a very painful shoulder but he did manage to complete the full eighty minutes.
The game began with both sides pretty evenly matched, Banbury attacked hard, but Marlborough defended equally hard. Then eventually Banbury broke through and scored a try which was converted. Then more bad luck struck Marlborough when player Coach Taufa’ao Filise had to come off the pitch due to clashing heads with Seku in a double tackle of a Banbury player .
Banbury kept pushing hard and scored another try which was converted but Marlborough didn’t give up, eventually scoring a try and conversion of their own. At half time the result was 14-7 to Banbury.
The second half wasn’t played as well by Marlborough and Banbury got another try and conversion and then a penalty, but Marlborough managed to push another try of their own through by front row legend Lemeki Moala which was converted by Grant.
Quickly Marlborough managed to score another try by Will Grant but sadly he was unable to convert it, there was now just a try score difference between the two sides, but the clock was ticking, but it wasn’t impossible. Sadly, the boys just couldn’t keep the tempo up in defence and Banbury ran away with a further two tries which were both converted, the final score was Banbury 38 – Marlborough 19.
Though Marlborough were disappointed with the result, Banbury played extremely well and deserved to win. The team were very competitive for much of the game but they were just unable to sustain this level. There has been little consistency with the team due to the number of injuries players have sustained but hopefully next month some of the players will be back to fitness, but they will have to compete for their places as the youngsters have stood up.
Some excellent news for Marlborough was that the seconds had a fantastic win at home against Frome, 27 -12. This was a great boost as they too have struggled with players being taken to cover for the firsts which in turn has made it difficult for them to maintain a consistent team. Hopefully they have turned the corner and will be able to build on this.
Next Saturday, the firsts are away to Old Patesians after the first leg games were cancelled due to them having a flooded pitch. The weather is set fair if not a bit fresh for next week so hopefully this game should go ahead and hopefully Marlborough can find their form again.