A bad day at the office
By Tim Platt
Slough beat Marlow with a spirited performance that we were unable to match
I should be writing to tell you we have earned another 5 points and kept our unbeaten run going. After 20 minutes it looked like that was going to be the result, but in a very strange second half where Slough's belief and commitment to the cause grew, ours did exactly the opposite and we paid the price to a Slough Try in the last play of the game.
We had discussed before kick off what effect the player changes to the team from the last match would make (Nick Carvey injured, Jamie Maddern, Vanavasa Bai, Jack Spurr and Will Page all unavailable) and decided that due to the depth of squad we have at the moment that it would have little effect on our overall strength.
After 2 minutes our belief seemed to be confirmed, with a break by Daniel Hostetler, followed by quick ball out to the right and Miles Noble, who drew his man, before passing to Stuart McKay, who beat the Full Back, and scored our first Try in the right corner. matt labron kicked an excellent Conversion from a tight angle right on the touch line. 0-7
Slough pegged us back with a Penalty kick after they put our scrum under pressure. 3-7
On 9 minutes Stuart scored again, with a very similar Try to the first. Matt made a cross field kick which put Slough under pressure, forcing a knock on. From the resulting scrum we went right, and with a man over, Stuart scored in a similar place to his first. A great kick from matt labron secured the Conversion. 3-14
Slough had been giving us some trouble in the scrum and this put us under pressure, drawing a penalty for being offside, and a successful penalty kick. 6-14.
It was a little concerning that Slough were staying in touch with the penalties despite our dominance, but everything seemed to be going to plan.
4 minutes later Matt had an unsuccessful penalty kick attempt.
To try and nullify the advantage Slough had in the scrum David Potton and Chirs Clarke swapped sides, which gave us a much more solid platform.
From an overthrown Slough line out we moved the ball quickly out to the right wing and Stuart scored his, and our, third Try. The match was still only 23 minutes old.
The rest of the half was pretty much parity between both sides. We had one more chance before half time when we broke down the left wing, a move which started from well inside our own half with some lovely interplay and passing. Stuart again making good ground, cut inside to give himself a better angle, but this time the Slough full back held on and thwarted what would have undoubtedly been the Try of the match, and our Try scoring bonus point.
Half Time 19-6
The second half was a completely different "kettle of fish".
Slough got two early scores, another penalty kick, followed quickly by a converted Try to bring them within 3 points. 16-19
As the half went on Slough grew in confidence, and belief, whilst the opposite happened to us and our ability to retain the ball either in open play or the set pieces seemed to ebb away. We simply lost control of the match and had little possession.
The home crowd were also growing in the belief that Slough could pull off a dramatic result and encouraged their side enthusiastically and with increasing ferver.
Finally we got an opportunity to put some points on the board, with Slough giving away a penalty in front of their posts. But for reasons the away supporters couldn't work out, we opted for a scrum which had been our weakest set piece all game, instead of an easier three points, or a kick for the corner, for a catch and maul. As could have been predicted by everyone on the touch line, we lost possession again, coming away with nothing.
To add to our woes we found ourselves down to 14 men, as Marcus Mercer earned a yellow card.
For the rest of the half it was only a matter of time before Slough had another opportunity to get points. Luckily for us the first opportunity, a penalty kick, came back off the cross bar. Slough were quicker to react to the ball still in play and forced us to give away another penalty. This time they made no mistake and drew level. 19-19
The home crowd would have settled for a draw, but urged their team on. They looked the side far more likely to score. Their opportunity came in the dying seconds of the game when we lost possession again in the Slough half and a hopeful kick down field into the acres of space behind our line was chased back by Jack Rider, pursued by no less than three Slough players and not a single Marlow player in sight, to provide support. Jack had no option but to put the ball into touch, giving Slough a throw in 10m out from our Try line. A clean catch and a number of 'pick and goes' later, Slough reach our Try line and scored.
The whistle went as soon as the conversion kick was taken.
Final Score Slough 26 Marlow 19
It was not a good afternoon for Marlow Rugby Club as all three senior sides lost. Marlow IIs were well beaten by Beaconsfield II at home, and the 3rds lost to Hungerford II away.
Next Saturday the 1st XV entertain Stow-on-the-Wold.
Tries: Stuart McKay 3
Conversions: Matthew Labron 2
Penalty Kicks: Matthew Labron 1
Yellow Card: Marcus Mecer
15 LAWLESS ANTONY 14 COTTON CHARLIE 13 MERCER MARCUS 12 NOBLE MILES 11 MACKAY STUART 10 LABRON MATTHEW 9 RIDER JACK 1 CLARKE CHRISTOPHER 2 HOSTETLER DANIEL 3 POTTON DAVID 4 SMITH BENJAMIN 5 REYNOLDS WILLIAM 6 THOMSON IAN 7 ROBERTS MAXWELL 8 BROWN IAN
16 SILVESTER STUART 17 HENDERSON JACK 18 DENTON CAMERON