On Saturday, Marlborough made their way down to Wimborne on the back of a good win from the previous week and opened the scoring after the first five minutes of play with an impressive long-range penalty kick from Will Grant in testing conditions, 3-0. Within three minutes Wimborne struck back with a converted try following some poor defending by the visitors. The score was now 7 -3 to the home side.
Marlborough seemed unable to organise themselves defensively for much of the match. Eventually Marlborough found their stride again and took the lead with some impressive phases of play topped off with some slick handling from Will Grant to score in the corner. Grant again produced another impressive kick to make the conversion, the score was now 7-10.
Again, Wimborne struck back almost immediately from the kick-off thanks to a number missed tackles by Marlborough, 14-10.
Marlborough scored next after an excellent build up, with the Captain, Ben Fulton, finishing off a very nice try under the posts. Again, Will Grant kicked the ball over the posts to convert the try, the score was now 14-17.
Five minutes later Wimborne exposed Marlborough’s weak defence, scoring again with an unconverted try, 19-17. Then just before half time, Will Grant produced another very impressive long range penalty, but the home side came back with a try of their own which was unconverted. The score at half time was Wimborne 24 – Marlborough 20.
The halftime pep talk from Head Coach Elisi Vunipola was not a very comfortable one for the Marlborough players to hear. Something must have resonated, because it was Marlborough who scored first thanks to a lovely break by James Marshall who was playing in his first match for the 1st XV, passing the ball to Henry Webster to score with Will making the conversion, 24-27.
Once again, Marlborough’s defence went into disarray, Wimborne took full advantage, winning an attacking line out in their 22, then dodging Marlborough’s attempts of tackling and scored, thereby taking the lead again, 29-27.
Front row player, Lemeki Moala dragged Marlborough back into the lead with a try of his own, Marlborough were back in front, 29- 32. The tension was building in this tit for tat game and Marlborough weakened allowing Wimborne a penalty in front of the posts which Wimborne punished Marlborough for, the scores were level.
The clock was ticking, two minutes were left, and Ash Horner scored the winning try for the game. There was no conversion, so the final score was 32-37, but it didn’t matter, Marlborough had the win. It wasn’t pretty but Marlborough got there eventually. If the boys are to beat Banbury at home next Saturday, then they will seriously need to up their game or else the league leaders will punish them – they were lucky this time.
There were some positives to take away from the game; the Captain, Ben Fulton’s leadership was first class as was Will Grant’s kicking in very difficult weather conditions. But probably the best thing was that James Marshall and Owen Lauder rose up to the challenge, both have come up through the ranks - through mini/juniors with the Club and then came through for the seniors today. They epitomise the ethos of the Club and the firsts certainly benefited from their loyalty and skills.