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Marlborough Rugby: Marlborough emerge with bragging rights in keenly contested local derby

Devizes 11 - 25 Marlborough

With the teams sitting 5th and 6th in Southern Counties South, a keenly contested local derby was always on the cards and Saturdays game did not disappoint.

The early phases saw both sides trying to get the advantage and the midfield battle was on from the first minute.  Marlborough joint coach Leo Tuliva was leading his backs well and with his centre partner Avenai Cakaunitavuki they both had a great day.  The first points went to the visitors with penalty kicked by Garth Bari.

The home team responded with a converted try and the score was 7-3.  The game was tight with Devizes looking to build phases and us a kick chase game. Marlborough were trying to force the game and seemed to want to score off first phase rather than build.  

As the half drew to a close scrum half Maika Qiolevu dived over around the side of a ruck to score.  Although the conversion was missed, a penalty by James Clancy right on half time gave Marlborough an 11-7 half time lead.

The half time talk from Marlborough was all about building phases and looking after the ball.

The second half started and immediately the change in the visitors tactics started to pay dividends.  They were spreading the ball wider in the backs and gaining territory, but must importantly winning rucks and keeping the ball.

Semisi Rasivo was having a great game carrying the ball and making some hard runs as were both props Wilden Robanakadavu and Lemeki Moala.  With 5 minutes gone in the second half a flowing move resulted in Avenai Cakaunitavuki scoring, Clancy converting.

Just 3 minutes later a similar attack resulted in space for Tuliva who ran in beat the defence, rounded in defender in the try area and went under the posts, again Clancy converting.  

The score was now 25-11.  The home crowd was quiet and Marlborough looking to be on top.

Then the game changed, Robanakadavu was red carded and suddenly Devizes sensed they could get back into the game.  The Devizes crowd were loud again and the home team responded by scoring a try of their own after 50 minutes.  This was converted and it was now 25-14.

The visitors once again had to raise their game and spent lot of the remainder of the game defending.  Wing Ratu Vuira had been off for a nasty cut above his ear was back on and was a constant threat with his pace and attacking skills.  Great defence by second row pair Jack Lynd and Jamie Pittams along with the rest of the team kept the visitors at bay.

A final score of 25-14 and honours in the local derby to Marlborough.

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Hockey: Marlborough men clinch league title with comfortable win - as next in table rivals lose

Team captain Anil SudTeam captain Anil SudMarlborough       6     Taunton Vale       1

Taunton Vale are the only team so far this season to have beaten Marlborough so the home team were determined to win the return game. But at stake too was probably the GoCrea8 (Davis Wood) Hockey League's Central 1 section title.

Marlborough controlled the early exchanges with lots of possession and created several half chances before they eventually took the lead.  

Charlie Hawley read an attempted clearance well to intercept the ball in the Taunton half, he quickly moved the ball infield and it eventually found its way to Toby Sampson who was ready and waiting to turn the ball into goal.

Marlborough soon extended their lead when Alex Renwick carried the ball well to beat two players and enter the circle, he managed to draw the keeper towards him and then play the ball square to vice captain Will Radnedge, who calmly applied the finish.

Unfortunately Marlborough turned the ball over in the midfield which allowed a quick switch of play to the Taunton left wing, their forward controlled the ball well on his reverse and made his way to the baseline, he somehow managed to burrow his way through several tackles and pulled the ball back for his team mate to put into the bottom corner.

Marlborough reacted well to this setback and restored their two goal cushion when a flowing passing move down the right hand side allowed John Bromley space to advance. His entry pass found Rhys Davies who deflected the ball across goal to Will Hughes who calmly put the ball into the net.

After half time, Marlborough extended their lead to 4-1 when captain Anil Sud found space inside the circle.  He calmly dragged the ball onto his reverse and fired it underneath the keeper.

Marlborough continued to dominate the game, restricting Taunton to hopeful passes as they tried to set up a counter attack.

The fifth goal duly arrived from a lovely interchange of passing between Toby Sampson and Charlie Hawley.   Toby received the ball with his back to goal, rolled strong to beat the first man and then exchanged a quick one two with Charlie. Toby found himself one-on-one with the keeper and rounded him on his reverse before slotting the ball into the corner of the goal.

Marlborough rounded the game off when a quickly taken free hit and direct carry from Matt Way - allowing him the space to fire the ball into the circle. Toby Sampson had cleverly led across goal to create space for himself, met the pass without breaking stride and deflected the ball back across his body into the corner of the goal.

At the final whistle news filtered through from watching members of the men's second team that Bath had failed to win today and therefore Marlborough had clinched the league title - safe with twelve points clear.

As one senior player said: "It's all down to the hard work put in by the whole squad both every Wednesday at training and the commitment and determination to convert that into quality performances on Saturdays."

Marlborough go into their last three games looking to protect their perfect home record and continue building momentum into the new challenges of next season.

Marlborough News Online Man of the Match was awarded to Charlie Hawley for his dynamic work through the midfield.

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A permanent home for Marlborough Tennis Club ‘just over the net’

Artist's impression of the new Tennis Club home adjacent to Port Hill on the A346Artist's impression of the new Tennis Club home adjacent to Port Hill on the A346Marlborough Tennis Club will realise a long term aim when its own club facilities and courts are formally opened later this year on land leased from Marlborough Golf Club.

Work will start at the end of this month to construct six all weather tennis courts with downlighting and a small pavilion to provide toilets and changing facilities.  The courts will be ready for play before the end of the year.

The new area will be on the strip of Golf Club land that borders Port Hill on the A346 to Ogbourne, with access being through the existing Golf Club entrance.

Hilda Moore, chair of Marlborough Tennis Club and Head Coach said:  “The club will have a much more vibrant feel to it once we have our own permanent home with year round playing facilities.  These are very exciting times.”

Marlborough Tennis Club has over two hundred members and six adult teams in the Swindon and District Tennis League.  Until now the Club has rented courts at Preshute from Marlborough College.  For several years the club has been seeking to build its own courts in the town.  “The Development Committee has worked tirelessly to identify a site and to secure funding,”  added Hilda.

£676,000 of the £750,000 needed to fund the project has been raised.  Roger Wheeler, treasurer, said:  “The club are very grateful to all the donors including the Lawn Tennis Association, Sport England, Community First, and the Marlborough Area Board.”

The remaining £74,000 will be raised through various fund raising activities organised by the club this year and through further sponsorship.  The Club are offering court sponsorship at £10K per court.  This buys the right to logo’d advertising on the windbreaks at each end of the court for a period of five years and a commemorative plaque.

The link to a Crowd Funding page for donations large or small can be found on Donations from tax payers can be made under Gift Aid and by so doing the donation is increased by 25%.

The Club already organises many activities.  The Great British Tennis Weekend, held each year, offers free tennis coaching;  a schools’ project involves over two hundred eight to nine year olds every July;  and Rusty Rackets encourages those who may not have played tennis for years back into the sport.

With its new facilities the club is looking to expand and to hire a full time coach and assistants so that it can offer tennis to all ages and abilities.  Club members can also expect to enjoy the social scene at the Golf Club.

“Tennis is a wonderful family sport,”  says Hilda.  “We are interested to hear from anyone who can help fund raise, offer sponsorship or coach.”

For further information please visit :, or click here to reach the crowd funding page directly

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Hockey: another tough win for Marlborough ladies keeps them at third place in the league

Wimborne Wayfairers      1       Marlborough     2

After last week's win which propelled Marlborough to third place in the league, the team arrived at Wimborne with a squad of just eleven players.

With some tough pre-game talking Marlborough were determined to beat Wimborne who were below them in the league.

Marlborough applied pressure from the start sweeping into the Wimborne D and showed the opposition that although they had only brought eleven, players they meant business.
Wimborne worked hard to stop Marlborough getting an early goal and made some quick breaks themselves streaming up the pitch in numbers. Unfortunately Wimborne capitalised on one of these breaks and scored a goal.

Despite this Marlborough continued to stay strong - giving it their all. Katie King and Beth Palfrey - playing right and left back - successfully tackled their forwards preventing further shots at goal.

With the whole team keeping the intensity high, Marlborough began to gain more and more possession. Eventually after endless tackles, Penny Bowen battled hard in front of goal and slotted the ball over the line - evening the score. 

Finally after a gruelling 35 minutes the whistle was blown for half time.

After a quick and inspirational team talk from the joint Marlborough captains, the team started the second half off on a high. With Rachel Cox spinning around their defence and distributing the ball to perfection, Marlborough found ourselves with more and more goal opportunities.

Wimborne were very quick on the break which Marlborough had to be careful of especially towards the end of the game with legs getting tired.

The winning goal came from a well worked long corner. Ness Pickford-Smith posted up and battled through the Wimborne defence to enter the D and blast the ball into the back of the net.

After this Wimborne fought back hard, and Vicky Moxham took one for the team - a strike to the shoulder whilst diving down to save a goal. Her amazing saves allowed Marlborough to stay in the game.  

Annabel Ashley and Catherine Manley both worked hard to get the ball up and out of the danger zone passing it to one of the forwards. Milly Dawson kept working hard throughout the game.  Despite Amy Davidson hurting her knee, her determination and perseverance kept her on the pitch, sending perfect balls up the line and eliminating players on the left side of the pitch.

Anna Strover was all over the pitch, making some amazing tackles and providing some great supporting play and was unlucky not to score. Marlborough kept up the pressure to the end and were unlucky not to make it three with some near misses.

Three points keeps the team in third place on goal difference - sharing the same number of points as both second and fourth placed teams.

Next week the side travel to Bath to play mid-table Bath Buccaneers.

The Marlborough News Online player of the match was shared by Anna Strover and Amy Davidson.

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Hockey: Marlborough ladies convincing win over old rivals moves them to third in league table

In a goal rich game Jess Pugh raced to a hat trick  (Library photo) In a goal rich game Jess Pugh raced to a hat trick (Library photo) Marlborough      6       City of Bath          1

After a three week gap since their last game, Marlborough Ladies saw this fixture as crunch time against old rivals City of Bath who were sitting right above them in the league table. 

Right from the whistle Marlborough managed to gain possession and pass the ball around freely. Twice Marlborough attacked down the right with got some early shots, but both times Bath's goalkeeper stood firm. From a 16 yard hit out, City of Bath broke the press and began their attack down the left and penetrating the D and Marlborough's keeper was forced to make the save.

The defence cleared the ball and Marlborough were on the attack again.  A one touch pass from Sophie Flynn into the middle of the pitch found Neve Beer who scored from the top of the D - lifting the ball into the top left hand corner.  

Just what was needed to calm the nerves. Keeping up the intensity Marlborough pressed again resulting in a short corner. The ball was slipped to Sophie Flynn - her shot was stopped on the line by the defender's foot. Jess Pugh stepped up for the flick and calmly slotted it past the keeper.

Bath gave away possession from the whistle and Marlborough were on the attack again. A sweeping cross-field pass from Rachel Cox to Neve Beer, with a quick ball to Anna Strover who one touch passed it to Jess Pugh who calmly took it round the keeper - Jess's second of the game. 

At 3-0 Marlborough sat back and Bath had a good period of possession favouring their right.  They had some dangerous passages of play and the defence was caught ball watching several times.

Goalkeeper Vicky Moxham was called upon a few times, but their shots rarely troubled her.

Another attack from Marlborough and another short corner. This time it was saved on the post, but a poor clearance gave the ball straight back to Marlborough. Torie Williams slipped it to the P spot where Rachel Cox was waiting to sweep it into the goal. As the half time whistle blew there were smiles all round.

City of Bath came out strongly and took Marlborough by surprise. Within the first few minutes they were awarded a short corner. A straight strike fired into the top left corner. That was not supposed to happen.

Bath continued to press and break, but were held off by a solid defence. Marlborough struggled to move the ball around as smoothly as in the first half, trying for glory balls rather than keeping it simple. Attack after attack seemed to fall down with the last ball, and Marlborough were giving the ball away far too much.

Marlborough needed another goal to calm the game. Step up Jess Pugh for her third of the game - another close range shot leaving their goalkeeper helpless.  

With ten minutes to go Sophie Flynn shot from left only for the ball to be stopped again by a defenders foot on the line, but as the ball rolled over the foot and over the line, the goal was given.

A great goal-filled game with some excellent passages of play. Even better was the news that this result leapfrogged Marlborough over City of Bath in the league table - into the third spot.  

Marlborough News Online Man of the Match was awarded jointly to Amy Davidson, Jess Pugh and Rachel Cox

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Marlborough Rugby: Marlborough squeak home by narrowest of margins in entertaining game at Blandford

Blandford 34 - 35 Marlborough

Marlborough won a very entertaining game with the last kick of the match.

The weather was very different to recent weeks.  It was good and conducive to good running rugby.

Marlborough put on good early pressure and took a 10-0 lead via a penalty after 5 mins from Garth Bari and then a try after 8 mins following a flowing backs move with Bari coming into the line from full back to finish it off.  Bari also converted.  Blandford immediately responded by converting a penalty from in front of the posts following an offside at the ruck that formed after the kick off.

After 15mins Michael Sims gathered a loose ball just inside the Blandford twenty-two and sped over in the corner, once again showing his great pace, the conversion was missed.  Blandford again responded, this time with a converted try after 20 mins, having taken advantage of some poor defensive organisation by the visitors.  Again a score came straight from the kick off, when the home team tried to clear the ball from their twenty-two, man of the match Sam Gouldbourn charged down and scored under the posts, Bari converted.

The pattern of score and then response continued as firstly Blandford got a penalty from a long way out after 25 mins.  And then scored from a driving maul after 27 mins and converted.  The half ended when Bari kicked a penalty on half time.

The second half saw Marlborough defending early Blandford pressure.  Jake Williams was off injured and James Clancy came on as replacement.  Gouldbourn, who was outstanding both going forward and in defence, and Inosi Laqekoro, running onto high balls and getting over the gain line, were the stand out players for the visitors.  Lemeki Moala having his first start for Marlborough also was excellent in the loose and made a huge impact in the scrums.

There was no score in second half until 60 mins, Avenai Cakaunitavuki broke through two tackles with a straight and very powerful run to core under the posts.  Clancy converted as Bari was down with an injury.  This made it 32 -20, then Marlborough then had a bit of a low point, crowd got behind Blandford and they scored two converted tries 65 mins driving maul, then a backs try 76mins just poor defending from Marlborough.

Finally with the game at 34-32 to the home team the visitors woke from their slumber.  Gouldbourn again won the restart and Marlborough played some really exciting rugby.  

Finally winning a 79th minute pen in front of the posts between the ten metre line and the twenty-two.  Bari converted.  The ref said there would be time the restart but it would be the final play.  Sam again won the ball and the visitors gratefully kicked it to touch.  For a very entertaining win.

The ref (who was excellent) said it was the best match he had ever refereed.

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Marlborough Rugby: Marlborough storm back to comprehensive win after slow start

Marlborough 47 - 12 Combe Down

After some heavy rain and an early pitch inspection the game kicked off in sunshine.

Combe Down scored first after 10 mins after some poor defence by the home team, the conversion was missed.

The home team's response came quickly when at a penalty, scrum half Jake Williams took a quick tap and ran in to score while the away team were still organising themselves, full back Garth Bari converted.  Marlborough this time were guilty of their own defensive disorganisation and on 30 mins Combe Down scored a converted try, although at this time they only had 13 men on the pitch.  A couple of yellow cards and one for a reaction to some nasty off field comments.

As the first half drew to a close, player/joint coach Leo Tuliva scored a good individual try under the posts, again Bari converted.  Then on the last play before half time Semisi Rasivo, who made a number of good breaks from the back of the scrums, broke a couple of tackles and scored in the corner, the conversion was missed. Half time 19-12.

The 2nd half and the home team had organised themselves better, Tuliva's defence was leading the way, the needless mistakes stopped and soon the gaps opened up.  The front row of Gareth Smith, Epeli Kotobalavu and Lemeki Moala, who all had great games, were rewarded for their efforts when after 45 mins prop Gareth Smith was put into space on the 22 and scored in the corner, Bari converted.

A recent feature of the team's play has been the line out work, jumpers Jamie Pittams and Sam Gouldbourn winning some great ball from the throwing in of Kotobalavu.  Again the reward came when after 50mins second row Jamie Pittams found himself on the wing and finished off a really nice backs move, Bari converted again.  On 60 mins joint coach Lotu Ngungutau, who had come on as a 2nd half replacement, picked up from the base of a ruck and drove over, again Bari converted.

Then 12 minutes later Ngungutau repeated the score with a very similar try, Bari was off injured so James Clancy converted.

Final score 47-12.

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Hockey: Marlborough men take another step towards promotion with a 3-2 victory

Westbury & UB A         2     Marlborough     3

Marlborough started the game reasonably well, controlling the tempo of the game and enjoying large amounts of possession. Several half chances were created and the Westbury goalkeeper made several smart saves to keep the scores level.

It was Westbury who took the lead after Marlborough turned the ball over in their own half and then failed to stop the breakaway.

The same pattern of play emerged with Marlborough creating more half chances and it was from one of these that they equalised.

The ball was carried strongly through the middle of the pitch by Captain Will Radnedge, he attempted to play the ball in for a deflection, but the Westbury keeper came out to smother the attempt.  The ball bobbled up in the air to Alex Renwick who sent it towards goal, only to be saved again by the recovering Westbury keeper. The second rebound fell kindly for Matt Way who pulled the ball onto his backhand and played it into the corner of the goal.

With half time approaching, Marlborough looked ready to retake the lead, but were once again hit by a sucker punch following another defensive error, which meant they entered half time trailing 2-1.

Marlborough adjusted their tactics for the second half, swapping back to their normal formation and seeking to win the ball higher up the pitch. This plan paid off immediately with Marlborough winning the ball several times in dangerous areas.

It was from one of these that they equalised when John Berry carried the ball strongly through the inside left channel, he saw Matt Way lose his defender in the circle and played the ball in towards him - just outside the near post. Matt adjusted his body position to sweep the ball first time into the far corner of the goal.

Marlborough continued their increased intensity and managed to take the lead when John Berry, who was at the heart of everything positive, broke through the midfield. He played a one-two with Alex Renwick before firing the ball into the corner of the goal.

Marlborough saw the game out without any fuss, showing the kind of game management which is going to be crucial for them as they move up through the leagues. To their credit, Westbury kept playing right until the end in an attempt to get something out of the game but failed to create much to threaten the Marlborough goal.

With their nearest rivals surprisingly losing, Marlborough extended their lead at the top of the league table to nine points with only four games remaining. Marlborough now have their fate in their own hands and will hope to wrap up the title with two wins in their double header next weekend.

The Marlborough News Online Man of the Match was awarded to John Berry for a superb combination of direct, yet unselfish hockey and excellent pressing play.

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Hockey: Marlborough men dig deep to secure promotion - with five games to go

Marlborough 4   Mid Somerset   3

Marlborough went into the weekend knowing that a win - and other results going their way - would seal their promotion. That was exactly what they got!

Unfortunately for Marlborough they were missing several of their more influential players. This allowed an opportunity for Mark Ramage and the prolific John Metcalfe, who have continually impressed for the second team this year, to get their chance - and they didn't disappoint.

With the players available Marlborough made the brave decision to change from their normal line up into a defensive back three.

The decision paid off immediately with Marlborough completely dominating the early stages and finding space all over the pitch. They won a short corner following a lovely passing move utilising their ability to pivot the ball from one side to the other and find space for their forward runners.

Rich Fynn disguised his flick at goal, opening his wrists up at the last minute to slide the ball toward Charlie Hawley - he deflected the ball across the keeper and into the corner of the goal.

Marlborough extended their lead after John Bromley won the ball in midfield. He transferred the ball to mark Ramage who got his head up and slipped a good through ball into the path of Rich Fynn. He gathered the ball, rounded the keeper and slotted the ball into the net from a tight angle.

Half time arrived without too much fuss, Marlborough maintaining their domination in both possession and territory, especially when Mid Somerset were reduced to ten men following a couple of heavy stick tackles.

Marlborough extended their lead early in the second half when the ball was worked down the right hand channel.  Charlie Hawley carried the ball well and slipped it into Alex Renwick in the circle. Alex drove left before dragging the ball back and lifting it over their advancing keeper in one slick movement - another very composed finish from the talented young player.

At this point the match looked finished, but a quick goal for Mid Somerset created a shift in the momentum of the game. Marlborough seemed to have less energy in their press and gaps began to appear.  Fortunately the combination of veteran Chris Jones and youngster Ollie Davies defended well - snuffing out any further half chances.

Marlborough restored their three goal cushion when a period of pressure down the left hand side created space to attack into. Rhys Davies, playing in an unfamiliar midfield role, carried the ball well, drawing in defenders before rolling infield to release the ball square to Rich Fynn.

Rich, normally the one applying the finishing touches, carried the ball on an angle before playing it into the circle. Justin Metcalfe had read the play well, getting in front of his marker to deflect the ball over the keeper's foot and into the corner of the goal.

To their credit, Mid Somerset didn't give up and rallied once again. They were definitely helped when Marlborough went through one of their 'funny 5s' - which have been so few and far between this season.

With Marlborough looking tired and turning the ball over in dangerous areas, Mid Somerset managed to score two goals within minutes of each other. Fortunately Marlborough were able to weather that storm and hold on for a well deserved win.

The way in which Marlborough played for 65 minutes of the game was a real credit to the strength in depth at the club this season. The ability to win against the third placed team in our league despite being without five regulars, is exactly why they have gained promotion and are sitting at the top of the league with a handful of games to go.

Marlborough.News Man of the Match was awarded to the evergreen Chris Jones who had a great game winning the ball back numerous times and setting up counter attacks.

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Marlborough Ladies suffer a loss in their last league match of the season

Marlborough Town Ladies 2016 17Marlborough Town Ladies 2016 17Melksham Town Ladies 5 Marlborough Town Ladies 1

Marlborough Town Ladies' last league game of the season on Sunday was a tough one. Despite their keen desire to win at home, it resulted in a 5-1 loss against Melksham.

From the start, Marlborough were unable to take control. The ladies played some decent football and showed lots of individual talent but weren't able to click as a team. There seemed to be a constant turnover of possession which ultimately ended in Melksham taking advantage of the opportunities provided.

Despite some amazing saves by Robyn Hill, Melksham were able to get two goals in before the half.

But Marlborough did not give up. They worked hard and had moments of good football. It was just a shame, that they were unable to maintain possession.

Melksham scored another couple of goals before Marlborough were able to get one from a great corner in from Kerry Ash. Emma Brown made difficult work for the keeper and Alex Simmonds was able to slot the ball into an open goal.

It wasn't much longer before Melksham got a fifth goal to settle the score. Marlborough played much better football in the last twenty minutes of the game but it was too little too late. They ended their season with a loss.

Despite the result, Marlborough enjoyed the battle and came out stronger. Much like their season, they look forward to new challenges ahead with ongoing spirit.

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Hockey: Marlborough men's weekend of two halves - with a seven-nil victory & a four-all draw promotion beckons

Back row - l to r: Chris Jones, John Berry, Matt Way, Brian Marnane, John Bromley, Charlie Hawley, Rich Flynn, Anil Sud Front row: Ollie Davies, Will Radnedge, Rich Holman, Alex Renwick, Mark KinderBack row - l to r: Chris Jones, John Berry, Matt Way, Brian Marnane, John Bromley, Charlie Hawley, Rich Flynn, Anil Sud Front row: Ollie Davies, Will Radnedge, Rich Holman, Alex Renwick, Mark KinderMarlborough     7        Sidmouth & Ottery     0

For their Sunday (February 19) catch-up game, Marlborough welcomed bottom of the table Sidmouth and Ottery.

Marlborough were utterly dominant in the first half, winning the ball numerous times in the Sidmouth half thanks to some excellent work in the defensive press. The energy levels put in by both John Berry and Charlie Hawley playing inside forwards, forced Sidmouth to either put the ball into the middle channel and risk a turnover or simply revert to long hopeful passes to their forwards.

Marlborough found themselves ahead early in the game following excellent build up play down the right hand side of the pitch. Veteran defender John Bromley carried the ball well and released John Berry, he made his way to the baseline and put the ball across goal for Rich Fynn to turn into the net.

Marlborough doubled their lead shortly after when a quickly taken long corner from Rich Holman found Matt Way in space near the baseline, he played the ball across goal and Rich Fynn was once again there to deflect the ball in from a narrow angle - a superbly taken goal straight off the training ground.

Marlborough continued to apply pressure to the Sidmouth defence and extended their lead from a short corner when Rich Fynn slipped the ball to Charlie Hawley to deflect into the goal.

The first goalThe first goal  ...another goal......another goal...  ...and another......and another...

The lead became four following an excellent passing move by Marlborough to create an overload in the circle, with John Berry once again unselfishly drawing the keeper and squaring the ball to a well placed Mark Kinder who put the ball into the unguarded net.

Shortly before half time Marlborough made it 5-0 following a carbon-copy short corner goal with Charlie Hawley once again finding the net.

...and another......and another...  ...and another......and another...  ...that looks like another......that looks like another...

A minute into the second half John Berry won the ball just outside the Sidmouth 25, he quickly played the ball to the edge of the circle for Matt Way, who drove to the left, drawing the keeper before playing the ball back under his arm to Alex Renwick. Alex calmly rode the final attempted tackle from Sidmouth and put the ball into the open goal.

Marlborough continued to apply pressure high up the pitch and created their seventh and final goal when the ball was played in towards the P spot for Matt Way to deflect it into the corner of the goal on his reverse.

Close marking by the Marlborough squadClose marking by the Marlborough squad  Race you to it...Race you to it...

To give Sidmouth credit they kept fighting right until the final whistle and did come back into the game as more of an attacking threat in the final twenty minutes. Solid work from the Marlborough defensive unit managed to snuff out any half chances and kept the clean sheet intact for the home side.

With Sunday's three points, Marlborough have re-established a six point lead over Bath Buccs at the top of the table and with Bristol University slipping up again and dropping out of the third place, promotion is looking more and more likely for the men in green.

Marlborough.News Man of the match was awarded to John Berry for his fantastic performance from midfield - he really was at the heart of everything positive for Marlborough.

City of Bath A       4          Marlborough       4

Marlborough's first game (Saturday, February 18) of their double header weekend was against a City of Bath team that had given them trouble during the home fixture.  They seemed merely intent on getting the ball to their extremely talented player (No. 7) and leaving him to it.

The way in which the game started set the tone with No7 attempting to go solo from the push back, to his credit he beat three players before being crowded out.

Marlborough settled into the game well and began to win the territorial advantage and apply pressure to the Bath circle. The deadlock was broken when a high turnover from John Berry led to the ball being worked across goal for Rich Fynn to calmly slot the ball into the corner.

Marlborough extended their lead shortly afterwards with Rhys Davies picking the ball up outside the circle and rolling strong, as he crossed into the circle he unleashed a strike into the top corner of the goal.

Marlborough kept control of the game until shortly before halftime when No7 once again carried the ball through numerous Marlborough tackles before winning a short corner - from which No7 flicked the ball into the net for a goal very much against the run of the play.

Marlborough seemed rattled as the second half began. Bath levelled the scores from another short corner when No7 managed to evade the first runner and fired the ball into the corner of the goal.

Things went from bad to worse when Marlborough turned the ball over in the Bath half. The ball was once again immediately played to No7 who carried the ball forward drawing in and beating numerous Marlborough defenders. Brian Marnane was isolated in goal and had no chance as they worked the ball around him to put into the empty goal.

Once again at this point Marlborough showed their character and began to dig in. They were reduced to ten men on two separate occasions. First, Rich Fynn was shown a green card for 'rebuking' (!) a Bath midfielder who certainly held nothing back in every tackle during the game and had rather cynically fouled Rich Flynn.

Marlborough were back to ten men when Ollie Davies was shown a yellow card.  This was more 'team card' and could have easily been awarded to anyone in green for repeated stick tackles and obstruction as No7 continued his one man band act.

Marlborough bought the scores level from a short corner which Alex Renwick won with some of the best elimination moves we have seen.  From the resulting corner Rich Fynn buried the ball into the net with a thunderous strike.

The game continued in an end to end fashion and Bath once again took the lead when Marlborough's defenders were sucked into attempting to stop No7.  He was able to find a Bath forward in space in the circle who finished the move with a very well taken deflection into the corner of the goal.

Marlborough knew that they needed to impose their own brand of passing hockey and did so to equalise. Rich Holman's excellent interception found Matt Way on the half way line.  The ball was released to Alex Renwick on the right wing who played the ball into Rich Fynn who had put in a lung-busting sprint to get onto the P spot.

His first effort was saved by the keeper, but he controlled the rebound well and calmly flicked the ball into the top corner of the goal for another equaliser.

Marlborough.News Man of the Match was awarded to Rich Fynn for composure in front of goal, intelligent movement up front - and his hat-trick.

Click on images to enlarge them...

Perhaps Sunday's excellent performance was down to the team's warm-up routine - accompanied by the junior reserves!Perhaps Sunday's excellent performance was down to the team's warm-up routine - accompanied by the junior reserves!

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