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Marlow RFC remain in the hunt for a Southern Counties North play off spot after physical Bicester victory

Christian Witney

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Marlow remain in the hunt for a play off spot in Southern Counties North after overcoming Bicester 27-17 away in a physical encounter.

The visitors were forced into a series of backline changes, with the most notable absence that of captain Hugo Jafari due to injury. With the tail wind of Storm Jorge in their favour in the first half Marlow set about quickly imposing themselves on their hosts.

Stu Jordon bulldozed through the Bicester defences to score Marlow’s first try, however, Christian Witney was unable to pocket the extras.

Bicester then began to make inroads and forced a try of their own when they worked the ball wide for their left wing to speed over in the corner (5-5).

Keeping the ball in hand Bicester continued to grow in confidence and they crashed over the Marlow line from the base of the ruck to make it 12-5 with the help of a conversion.

However, the play was fast and loose and neither side was able to dominate the other. Before half-time the visitors’ hooker, and oldest member of the squad, Sly Silvester barrelled his way over to make it 12-10.

Marlow’s set piece was now in the ascendancy and it wasn’t long before Ben Smith, captaining the side for the first time, began to dominate at the lineout. However, it was a sniping run from Jack Rider that eventually gave Marlow the lead in the dying minutes of the first half, with Witney slotting the extras (12-17). Up against a strengthening wind in the second half, Marlow knew they’d have to come out fast to quell a response from the home side. And they took the wind from Bicester’s sails when flanker Bruno Renucci picked the ball up from a ruck and spread the ball wide for Nick Gorham to go over in the corner.

Bicester came back again, touching down in the corner to bring themselves back to within one converted score of the lead. But the Marlow set-piece was now in tune and a series of plays led to Jordon crashing through once more to cap a man-of-the-match display with his second try of the game.

Marlow now return to Riverwoods to play Chesham on Saturday knowing they’ve negotiated one of the trickier away fixtures in the calendar. They’re third in the table, eight points behind second placed Reading, with five rounds of matches left to play.

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