Four first half tries help Marlow RFC keep pressure on the top three in Southern Counties North

Four first half tries helped Marlow RFC claim revenge over Wallingford on Saturday, as Rory Greenslade-Jones’ side ground out a 22-7 victory at Riverwoods to keep the pressure firmly on the top three.

Wallingford handed Marlow their first defeat of the season back in early October, when the visitors – brimming with confidence after three successive home wins – were thrashed 40-18.

But they were able to claim ample revenge at the weekend and the win keeps Greenslade-Jones’ men within four points of both third placed Aylesbury and second placed Reading.

Witney are some way clear at the top of Southern Counties North having opened up a 17 point gap on their closest rivals Reading.

Marlow came into the clash off the back of last week’s impressive 19-7 win over Stow-on-the-Wold and, after surviving an early siege from the visitors, took full control.

Much like their game against Shipston-on-Stour earlier in the season, Marlow’s robust defence laid the groundwork for a thrilling end to the half. The home side’s first try came off the back of a flowing three-quarters move which saw Ollie Kemp touch down on his debut.

Two minutes later and Marlow cut through again to score, this time captain Hugo Jafari dancing through tackles to place the ball down in the corner.

Kemp very nearly had a second try of the match following a flowing backs move, but was held up on the tryline. But the hosts weren’t to be denied in this mood and, following a strong push from the resultant scrum, No.8 Alex Spicer took the plaudits following a pushover try.

Chasing a bonus point they then made the most of a hastily cleared ball into touch. An attacking lineout gave George Jafari the chance to dart through and score after defenders had been drawn in to stop a rolling maul.

That made it 22-0 at the break, and while Wallingford came out strongly in the second half, the home side were always in control. Wallingford did manage to get on the scoresheet, following a series of pick and goes from close to the line, but excellent game management in the final stages saw Marlow hold on for a comfortable win.

Back to back wins has restored confidence in the camp, following their disappointing loss to Reading Abbey a few weeks ago. Their next match is a trip to league leaders Witney on Saturday week (February 1).

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