Marlow Beat Bicester 36 - 15
Comfortable win for Marlow in an injury strewn match.
Marlow saw a welcome return to George Jafari (injury) and Dom Crayden, for the fist time this season, due to work.
The match was a very stop-start affair, particularly in the 2nd half, as a result of numerous injury stoppages.
Although Marlow was playing against the wind and rain at the start they kept Bicester pinned back in their own half. However, Bicester got the first points on the board, against the run of play, when Marlow were penalised for being offside on Bicester's first foray into the Marlow half. 0 - 3
Their lead only lasted 4 minutes with Marlow making a break through the midfield. Mile Noble catching the pass one handed, on a day when most were struggling to keep hold the ball with two. His beautiful catch was rewarded with a Try under the posts. Jamie added the Conversion. 7 - 3.
Bicester regained the lead with a kick over the top, and a chase by their Right Wing. As Bicester Winger was already within a few meters of the line Nick Gorham had no choice but to anticipate when the Bicester Right Winger would gather the ball, as leaving the tackle any later would have meant a certain Try. However, he was a fraction early and the Referee awarded Bicester a Penalty Try and Nick with a Yellow Card. 7-10.
Another break in the midfield, by Matt Labron this time, got Marlow back into the Bicester 25m. In their vain attempt to illegally stop Matt two Bicester players clashed heads, which led to a lengthy delay while their Fly Half was attended to, before being stretchered off as a precaution. The good news was that he was back up and walking again about an hour later.
When the game eventually restarted Marlow kicked the ball into touch 5m out and used their very effective catch and drive to score our 2nd Try. Stuart Silvester was the man holding the ball as the Marlow maul rumbled over the Bicester Try line. The Conversion was unsuccessful. 12-10.
From this point onwards Marlow went up a gear and and never looked like losing the lead again.
Bicester's kick off, from the Marlow score, went straight into touch. From the resulting scrum, on the halfway line, Jamie Maddern made a lovely jinking run, slicing through the Bicester defence and scoring under the posts. He also added the conversion. 19-10
Now with the wind in their favour Marlow were able to exert pressure on Bicester, who were rarely able to get out of their half. 5 minutes into the half Marlow had another opportunity for a catch and drive, which they executed perfectly, and Dom Crayden got on the score sheet for the first time this season, having only come on at half time, replacing Max Roberts. The conversion was good. 26 - 10. The score also gave us the all important Try Bonus Point.
Jamie added a further 3 points when Bicester were penalised for wheeling the scrum. 29 -10.
Dom showed us all what we have been missing this season in his absence. A Marlow scrum just inside the Bicester half and Dom picked up the ball off the back, and like a run away express train, ran 50m smashing his way through two or three Bicester defenders on his way to the Bicester Try line. Not to be outdone by this impressive virtuoso performance Jamie made a great kick from the right hand touch line to take the extra points. 36 - 10.
Sadly, almost as soon as he made his appearance, Dom went off with a shoulder injury.
Bicester got one final score, with a catch and drive of their own.
Final Score Marlow 36 - Bicester 15
Tries: Mile Noble, Stuart Silvester, James Maddern, Dominic Crayden (2)
Conversions: James Maddern (4)
1 Ross Hayworth 2 Stuart Silvester (Captain) 3 Edward Smyth 4 Benjamin Smith 5 Max Burbidge 6 Maxwell Roberts 7 Joshua Finch 8 Ian Thomson 9 Matthew Labron 10 James Maddern 11 Nicholas Gorham 12 George Jafari 13 Scott Golding 14 Miles Noble 15 Nicholas Carvey
Substitutes: 16 Dominic Crayden 17 Jack Henderson 18 Howard Mears