Academy win again....
Still at top of Div 1 League with just 3 games to go
After a ding dong week of location location location, Marlow eventually took to the field at Reading Uni for this league fixture, our 3rd encounter v Redingensians this season (incl one cup).
The conditions were a leveller though, drizzling throughout and both sides struggled to maintain possession or build phases, particularly off line out. It was though Redingensians who started the brighter and with a solid kicking game build pressure deep in our 22. Marlow’s defence though was up to the task and repelled multiple attacks. One particular escape saw them penalised, then marched back 10m for back chat and then a YC for continuing.... (a coach killer). Marlow though could not capitalise on the numerical advantage as the ref insisted we drop to 7 in the scrum too. (I will need to check that law as thought that had gone at this AG... and they maintained scrum dominance, how is that an advantage??)
We then lost Finn Selman to a head knock (nose) and would need to work hard to slow down or compete for the ball.
The only score of the half came off a sweet backs move, 50m out, moving right off a scrum, Harvey broke free before releasing Max in support as the final tackle came in, rounding near the posts. Extras added 7-0 at half time.
Into the second half and Marlow started the stronger, with good phases built and good support to the carriers. Our next try though was well crafted, phases and hard carriers before the ball was released wide left with players queuing up, Stan Gibson with the simplest job to catch and dab down. An excellent touch line conversion from Jamie Maddern took us too 14-0. Cruising.
Our next then came in similar fashion, multiple phases before Finn Duguid was released wide right for a 10m run in. 19-0.
But Redingensians were not done. And they scored the next 3 tries, despite at times valiant defence, their pick and go game, ideal in the conditions was difficult to hold out. So 19-19 with possibly 9 min still to play. Momentum had swung, and stiff words from captain for the day, Jamie Maddern looked to lift the heads. Nick Spicer had a big carrying day and a very solid scything defensive outing too, aided by the ever present Sam Hunt.
The next the kick off would be crucial, and who had the fight and desire to finish it and close out the game. And it was Marlow who then pounced on the loose ball and applied pressure deep into their 22, and then turned down a line out pen to run for a try BP AND the win. And it was Jamie Maddern who stepped and held strong lunging for the line to cross. extras added 26-19. Try BP secured.
Could we hold on for the win?
One iffy call could have changed the outcome - ball carried back over their line on the slide after a deep kick was adjudged as a 22 drop (not attacking scrum 5). And Redingensians almost broke away from that restart, but we scrambled well, won a pen, cleared and retained possession to clear to touch and final whistle.
A BP try win, in a tough game where not all clicked. But a valiant defensive effort and we scored good tries with limited ball.
3 left to go! P7 W7, 6BP...
(Same or better wins than Quins, Saints, Worcester and London Irish after 19 games).
Injury updates pending on Finn Selman, Sam Hunt and James Forsyth ahead of show down with Maidenhead next Sunday.
Injury of the day: bloody noses (at least 3 today) - one of their players also now at Porton Down after a ‘hair pull’ on Matt Worman.
Comment of the day: the ball boy offered their player a towel to wipe his hands ahead of a line out, to which he said, ‘it’s ok, I’m the winger and not dirty’ ... perfect response from a back.?
Ball retrieve of the day: parent (Greg Stroud) fielded a kick to touch on the volley straight into the towel arms of the ball boy.
Jamie Maddern 3