Marlborough 29 - 8 Wimborne
On Saturday, the first home game of the New Year and Marlborough finally pulled it out of the bag and got a win. This boost was vital for the team after not winning a game since the middle of November and where some lack lustre performances had been given, finally the tide had turned, and Marlborough came out and gave possibly their best display of the season.
Fly-half Daniel Jones scored after only two minutes following some very good play and handling from Marlborough. He then converted his own try, (7-0)
Wimborne then started to put together some very good phases of play and put Marlborough under the cosh, but Marlborough defended their line exceptionally well and Wimborne just scored 3 points, (7-3). Marlborough then started to apply pressure which was rewarded with a very well executed try in the corner by Kane Marafono, but the conversion was missed, (12-3).
From the kick-off, Marlborough then built a very good line of attack but let Wimborne back into the game with some poor executions in Wimborne’s 22 which resulted in the visitors gaining a break away try but there was no conversion, (12-8). To their credit Marlborough stuck to their game plan and just before halftime Kane Manafono finished another very good try, again the conversion was missed. The half time score was Marlborough 17 – Wimborne 8.
The second half would see Marlborough playing uphill into a howling gale and possibly losing some advantage. There was no need to worry as the boys just played to the conditions. Jake Kane scored two minutes into the second half following a very nice build up, but the conversion was missed, (22-8).
Five minutes later Lemeki Moala crashed over the line to score Marlborough’s fifth try of the game and Daniel kindly obliged in getting the conversion, (29-8). To their credit Wimborne never gave up but Marlborough’s defence was on fire and Wimborne failed to score any points in the second half.
The boys all took responsibility for each of their roles within the match, not one of them was left wanting and by working hard as a team and for the team, they got the result they wanted. The efforts by nineteen-year-old Tommy Elbrow was outstanding, he just keeps improving. James Marshall’s defence and line out work was top notch, an area Marlborough needed improving this season. It was fantastic having Knoxy back in the throng of things; second game back from injury and he’s getting back into his stride in both attack and defence. He’s a quality player with both experience and understanding of the game which is invaluable in any team.
Then there’s Daniel Jones who is developing a great relationship with both the number nines (Jake Williams and Will Grant) and organises the back row which is very exciting to see. Finally, a mention for Joe Pittams who came on as a finisher, showed excellence in both attack and defence. Though some individuals have been noted, if the rest of the team didn’t do their job, then these guys couldn’t do theirs. Marlborough 1st XV are a team, a family who have stuck together when times are not so good, hopefully this positivity will again come through next Saturday when the 1st XV are off to Banbury for what will be a tougher game, they beat Marlborough by four points back in October on the Common, there’s a score to settle.