Marlborough RFC 1st 31 - 25 Frome RFC 1st
Frome RFC 1st XV travelled to high flying Marlborough RFC 1st on Saturday...
Frome RFC made the away trip to high flying Marlborough RFC on Saturday and having played them back in October (losing narrowly 10-17) knew a tough challenge was ahead of them.
Frome got off to a great start and within the 1st ten minutes were dominating the scrum and were unlucky to not take the lead when Scrum Half John Benstead was judged to have knocked on as he dived across the try line. Marlborough are always a team that can threaten from anywhere on the pitch and during their scrum on their own line the fly half dummied the clearance kick and put the ball along the back line with the winger running the length to score, the extras being added. (7-0)
Frome continued to press hard and from the restart fell further behind when the home side broke the defence again to score out wide in the corner, this time the kick going wide. (12-0) During this Frome lost Prop Aaron Blaney to injury resulting in Fly Half Matt King stepping in at Hooker and a reshuffle in the back line.
However all was not lost in this opening 20 minutes and Frome got their 1st points of the day following an infringement at the breakdown which gave James Howard the kick in front of the posts. (12-3) This was short lived as Marlborough once again broke the line and extended there lead with another unconverted try. (17-3)
Frome RFC hadn't given up and continued to attack the large home defence with Inside Centre Ali Frost and No.8 Alex Mallon continuing to carry hard and were awarded a penalty and kicked for touch, from the resulting line out Forward James Gallop found the gap and dived for the line carrying over several would be tacklers, the kick going wide. (17-8) The home side once again showcased why they sit high in the league with another break away try. (24-8)
Half Time: Marlborough RFC 1st 24 - 8 Frome RFC 1st
Now playing up the slope Frome knew it would be a tough ask to get themselves back into the game and heads dropped when Marlborough scored a try early in the second half to increase the lead, the kick going over. (31-8)
With Coach Toby Culff asking more form the players the side began to get themselves back into the game with the continued dominance from Front Row Dan Chaventre, Elliot Bowler and now stand in Hooker Matt King which resulted in a number of penalties giving Frome precious territory.
Frome were able to turn this long spell of possession into points when after multiple attacks at the Marlborough try line gained another penalty and a kick to touch saw Second Row James Howard crash over after another line out drive. (31-13)
The momentum was in the visitors favour and 1st XV Captain Ross Toten showed some good football skills when a lineout from Marlborough saw the ball fall loose and Toten was first onto with a perfect kick towards the line and followed up diving onto the ball in the corner, the kick unfortunately going just short. (31-18)
In the final minutes of the game the Frome men sensed the opportunity to gain a valuable bonus point and this was duly won when after a number of penalties close to the line and another dominate line out catch and drive resulted in Winger Kurt Eckard bundling over supported by the Pack, James Howard had the difficult kick from out wide but calmly slotted it giving Frome the 2nd bonus point. (31-25)
We caught up with Captain Ross Toten after the game who commented "It was always going to be difficult to get anything from the game going a couple try's down against one of the tops sides in the league but we knew what we needed to do and kept to the game plan that we wanted to impose."
He went on to say "As a team we can be happy and proud of the way we reacted especially as at one point it very much looked like an embarrassing afternoon was on the cards. Credit to the lads for not giving up away from home and a dominant 2nd half meant we got those 2 bonus points that we deserved from the game."
Frome RFC have another week off in fixtures this Saturday but return to league action on Saturday 3rd March when they host North Dorset RFC 1st.