Marlow Score 7 Tries Against Wycombe
By Tim Platt
Marlow backs cut loose in the local derby.
The match was played in very windy conditions – with a force strong enough to blow the head off the pints being bought from the Brolly Bar. This was the first time we played Wycombe this season, because the earlier scheduled away fixture had to be postponed due to a very late injury to the Referee and our participation in the RFU Intermediate Cup competition.
Last weekend we suffered a loss away at Buckingham, although I had previously suggested that we hadn’t earned a bonus point. In contrast, Wycombe scored over 100 points against Littlemore away, so their confidence was high. They are also the only team to have beaten Windsor both home and away this season, so although they have had a topsy turvy season they clearly have the players that can beat anyone on the day.
We started the match into the wind, which is always sensible to do, as it always provides an advantage and the last thing you want to do is be playing into the wind when you are starting to get tired towards the end of the match.
Wycombe put us under early pressure by kicking the ball into touch on our 5m line, but our throw-in set piece was solid and we cleared the danger. The wind was having a significant effect on play, as the wind was so strong it was causing the ball to move unaided on the ground. This led to numerous handling errors by both sides in the early period of the match, which was rather scrappy.
We kicked up field and a good chase forced Wycombe to take the ball into touch. From the resulting throw-in we retained pocession of the ball well and made a good 40m up the pitch. Eventually we worked the ball out to the left where Charlie Cotton made the decisive break, offloading to George Buckle in the tackle, who scored in the left corner. Jamie Maddern’s low kick into the wind didn’t quite make the distance. 5-0
Immediately from the kick off Nick Carvey caught the ball, and passed it to Jamie Maddern, space opened up in front of him and Jamie ‘simply’ ran through the oncoming Wycombe players untouched, and then it was a foot race for the line, which Jamie won by a margin. He was clearly out of breath, having run 70m flat out, so Anthony Lawless took over kicking duties, and was immediately successful with the Conversion. 12-0
Soon afterwards history repeated itself, but this time it was a loose Wycombe pass that started the move, intercepted by Jamie, inside his own half, he again sprinted 70m to score. Clearly the conditions were no problem for Anthony Lawless as he kept a 100% record with the Conversions. 19-0
We were now looking very assured in attack and Try scoring opportunities were coming thick and fast. Jamie made another break, but couldn’t quite get clear of the Wycombe defence and his offload was knocked on, had it gone to hand it would undoubtedly have been another Try. A Marlow scrum and Jamie gave George Buckle a lovely pass to put him clear, but unfortunately George didn’t quite have the speed to run 50m and outpace the Wycombe defenders. However, Wycombe were penalised for not releasing. We nearly scored with the free play, but were adjudged to have been held up when the pack got the ball over the Try line. From the resulting 5m scrum, our pack tried to use the pick and go to make the last few meters. Unfortunately, the match had to be stopped when Eddy Smyth suffered a clash of heads and a nasty cut to the forehead. Eddy came off to be replaced by Tobias Roberts-Moore. From the restart we went left, but the opportunity went when the Wycombe defence read the move perfectly and gave George Buckle no time or space when he received the ball.
With Wycombe now in possession, Daniel Hostetler tried to intercept another slightly loose Wycombe pass, but unfortunately all he could do was knock the ball to the ground, so the visitors were awarded a penalty. But as with most of Wycombe’s kicking, they couldn’t find touch, so we were able to get the ball back into Wycombe territory quite comfortably.
Just before half time, Charlie Cotton decided to run at the Wycombe defence from inside his own half and scythed through on the left wing. Great support running from Nick Carvey, on the inside, left the Wycombe full back making the fatal error of not committing himself to either of the attacking players and ended up in no man’s land between them, giving Charlie a clear lane to the left corner. The conversion kick was a long way out to the touch line and Anthony Lawless was unable to make the distance. 24-0
Half-time Marlow 24 – Wycombe 0
Having played into the strong breeze in the first half and gained a commanding lead it seemed likely that we would put Wycombe to the sword in the 2nd half. However, this never quite happened. The assurance we had shown in attack in the first half, seemed to desert us and the game became very bitty, and we also lost our discipline, giving away several unnecessary silly penalties. Things weren’t helped when Anthony Lawless attempted to intercept yet another loose Wycombe pass, but he didn’t quite get hold of the ball and the Referee felt it was only a one-handed intercept so showed him a yellow card, so we were down to 14.
Also, whereas we had been on par with Wycombe in the scrum during the 1st half we started to struggle a bit at the start of the 2nd, which ultimately required a reshuffle of the pack, with Eddy Smyth and Daniel Lewis coming back on to give us more bulk.
The Wycombe inside centre was also making his presence felt and made several mini breaks, which kept us pegged back inside our own half.
However, we did get 3 more Tries before the end of the game. Wycombe were penalised for holding on, and Jamie found touch for a 5m throw-in. In the wind conditions keeping line-out throws straight had been difficult all afternoon and this was no exception, with the throw going too long, giving back Wycombe pocession. However, they tried to run the ball out of defence and excellent defence from Marlow won turnover ball. Jamie found George Buckle, who had made a lovely diagonal run across the back of the ruck to score from 35m out. Anthony Lawless continued to have no problems keeping his kicks accurate and added the 2 points. 31-0
More loose passing from Wycombe, who were now trying to run everything, presented with Curran McMillan the opportunity to get his name on the score sheet, especially as the full back was not at home when he broke out of the tackle. Anthony Lawless made another great kick. 38-0
Finally, Jamie Maddern got back on the score board with another lovely diagonal run, and simple pop pass from Nick Carvey, which cut open the Wycombe defence and allowed him to run clean through. With his success rate so far there was only one person to attempt the conversion, and Anthony Lawless didn’t disappoint. 45-0
It would have been nice to have kept a clean sheet, but we lost concentration and, out of nowhere, as Wycombe hadn’t looked like breeching our defences all afternoon, a break down the left wing and Wycombe went over in the left corner for an unconverted consolation Try.
The end of the match was slightly delayed due to a nasty bang on the head for Ben Smith, although he was able to get back to his feet he was taken off for the last 2 minutes of the match as a precaution.
Final Score:- Marlow 45-Wycombe 5
Although it was great to get another maximum points win, unfortunately the 2 teams above us managed to do the same, with Buckingham winning at Reading and Windsor getting a AWO when Littlemore were unable to raise a side.
We now have a 2 week and return with an away trip to Littlemore, which we need to take seriously to remain in contention.
Tries: George Buckle (2), Jamie Maddern (3), Charlie Cotton, Curran McMillan
Conversions: Anthony Lawless (5)
1 David Potton 2 Dan Hostetler 3 Eddy Smyth 4 Ben Smith 5 Ian Thomson 6 Curran McMillan 7 Max Roberts 8 Daniel Lewis 9 William Sones 10 Jamie Maddern 11 Anthony Lawless 12 Charlie Cotton 13 George Buckle 14 Stuart MacKay 15 Nick Carvey 16 Tobias Roberts-Moore 17 James Forsyth 18 Sam Hindley