A case of 'if onlys' against Bicester
Marlow lose match by 1 point.
Bicester came out of the blocks quickly and played at a very high tempo and they were all over us for the first 10 minutes of the game. Their effort was rewarded with an early unconverted Try on 3 minutes, as the result of a grubber kick through, which was picked and scored in the left hand corner. 5-0. From the restart, Bicester continued at the same level of intensity with Marlow desperate to get hold of the ball and slow the game down. Surely they couldn't keep this level up.
Finally, after about 10 minutes game time, we finally got hold of the ball and Cameron Denton made a break down the left wing and he was only taken into touch 10m out. However, we kept up the pressure and passed the ball across field for Stuart Jordan to score in the far right hand corner. 5-5 Nick Carvey made an excellent kick from a difficult angle to add the extra 2 points. 5-7
Shortly afterwards Miles Noble almost intercepted a pass, but he couldn't quite get the ball under control, which is a shame as it would have been a certain Try under the posts. The first of the 'if onlys'.
Our scrum had been under pressure all game - Ben Smith eventually swapped his boots for Paul Sharp's and that certainly did the trick - and Bicester used this advantage to almost score, but were repelled by the tenacious Marlow defence.
On 30 minutes we were adding points to our tally with Curran McMillan going over at short range. However, Nick was unable to add the points this time. 5-12
Another Marlow attack came to nothing after a pass inside was intercepted.
Mile Noble came off, having taken a nasty knock, to be replaced by Ross Stewart.
Just before half time Bicester pegged us back with a successful Penalty 8-12
Half Time 8-12
Maybe we could start looking to the second half with a little more confidence, as we would be playing 'downhill' and some of the bigger Bicester stalwarts had taken their leave of the game. However, this proved to be a false hope, although we now had more of the ball we were unable to turn this into points.
Nick Spicer replaced Ben Smith.
We were penalised for playing the ball on the ground gifting Bicester a 5m throw in. Great Marlow defence held the ball up on the Try line. The respite was short lived with Bicester again attacking the left wing. Nick Carvey didn't make a clearing kick, deciding to retain the ball and try to run out of his in goal area. This gave Bicester an attacking scrum 10 meters out, at which we were penalised. Bicester took the penalty quickly and scampered over the Try Line. 13-12. 'If Only' we'd made a clearing kick.
Whilst in the Bicester half we picked up a Yellow Card for retaliation, which put us on the back foot. On 25 minutes Bicester took advantage of the extra man and scored another unconverted Try. 18-12
We were now chasing the game, but we still looked like we could score even though we were a man short. On 30 minutes Vasa broke free and ran over the Bicester Try line, with the Marlow fans screaming at the tops of their voices to put the ball down under the posts. Either he didn't hear us or decided he would be under too much pressure from the rapidly approaching Bicester defence so he dabbed it down a bit too far away, making it a difficult Conversion attempt for Nick, which was unsuccessful. 18-17. 'If Only' we'd had an easy Conversion to make.
This proved to be the decisive moment of the match as the Referee blew up extremely early, bearing in mind the stoppages for injury in the second half. The cry of joy from the Bicester team showed how much they felt they had been let off the hook.
This season is proving deeply frustrating for everyone concerned as we are not being out played by any stretch of the imagination, but our game management is letting us down at times and giving ourselves too much to do. We definitely have the players with more than enough ability to compete at this level, but they do need to attend training as much as possible so we can practice together as a team.
We now have a weeks break before the next home game against Chippenham on 21st Oct.
Tries: Stuart Jordan, Curran McMillan, Vanavasa Bai
Conversions: Nick Carvey
1. Ross Hayworth 2. Curran McMillan 3. Eddy Smythe 4. Ben Smith 5. Jack Henderson 6. Max Roberts 7. Alex Mclean-Nelson 8. Ian Thomson 9. Cameron Denton 10. Jamie Maddern 11. Stuart Jordan 12. Miles Noble 13. Vanavasa Bai 14. Nick Gorham 15. Nick Carvey 16. Stuart Silvester 17. Nick Spicer 18. Ross Stewart.