04:30PM, Thursday 09 January 2020
Reading Abbey 33, Marlow 32
Marlow RFC were cruising to a bonus point win over Reading Abbey on Saturday before a second half implosion saw them lose the game 33-32.
Marlow had dominated proceedings in the first half, and were leading 25-11 when James Forsyth cut through the Abbey defences to score his second try of the afternoon with around 30 minutes remaining.
But, with the slope to their advantage and Abbey looking demoralised, they somehow allowed their opponents back into the game.
It’s a massive kick in the teeth to the side’s hopes of finishing in the top three and competing for promotion.
They came into the game after the Christmas break having shut out Shipston-on-Stour 38-0 at Riverwoods in their final game of 2019.
But this is not the start to 2020 head coach Rory Greenslade-Jones would have wanted or anticipated from his side.
Ryan McGealy and James Branch returned from injury to form a new back row combination while Harry Yeomans also scored a try after switching from scrum half to the right wing.
There was also a solid showing from Charlie Cotton who touched down twice, and got the side’s final try of the afternoon in the 75th minute. Sadly it wasn’t enough.
Marlow pressed in the final stages and forced two kickable penalties but Christian Witney wasn’t able to take either of them as Abbey squeezed home for victory.
His second kick in the final seconds fell just short of the posts.
Marlow will be kicking themselves as they were the better side for long periods of this game. They remain fourth in the table on 37 points ahead of their next game at Stow-on-the-Wold on Saturday.
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