12:28PM, Sunday 01 March 2020
Windsor RFC saw their shot at getting redemption narrowly miss the target on Saturday after losing 9-19 to fifth placed Marlborough.
The Royals were beaten by the Wiltshire side two seasons ago in the play offs for promotion into the South West 1 East. Now together in the table, seven places apart, the two sides met in November for a fiercely contested clash that Windsor believed they should have won but Marlborough succeeded in 22-13
Determined to settle old scores, Jack Pattinson’s men welcomed Marlborough to Home Park in a match played in adverse weather conditions. Yet, in what can only be described as a ding dong battle at times, the hosts came up just short in a courageous performance.
Saturday’s game had a promising start for the Royals, with Jack Gaylor slotting away a penalty inside four minutes to put Windsor in a three point ascendancy. Marlborough responded well and launched a quick attack upfield but Michael Pope was in hot pursuit to take down the visitors’ frontrunner.
Windsor looked like they had got a try down on the 15th minute but the referee waved it off and set up a scrum inside Marlborough’s 22. The hosts paid the price for the decision when Daniel Jones brought the game level with a penalty on the 24th minute. Things went bad to worse when James Cullen saw yellow from the referee moments later, forcing Windsor to close the half with a man down.
The visitors touched down the game’s first try on the stroke of half time with Jones’ catch and drive down the right wing. Windsor’s Ben Grant-Adamson appeared to have got a last-ditch tackle in to prevent Marlborough getting the ball over the whitewash, but the referee ultimately waved off the hosts’ appeals. No extras were added as the conversion just clipped the left post. The half time score, 3-8.
Marlborough ought to have been buoyed by their pre-half-time advantage but it was Windsor who would next put points on the board. In now blustery conditions, Jack Gaylor put his foot through two more penalties in ten minutes to shift Windsor back in the ascendancy since the game’s start. The score, 9-8.
In an attempt to further extend their lead, the hosts battled hard in a series of scrums next to advance into Marlborough’s half. But with great frustration, possession switched hands and the visitors got themselves back in the driving seat of the match with a try that went down in a rolling maul.
Jones’ following conversion was once again held up in the strong wind, but was made up for with a strong penalty kick moments later to put them in a 9-16 lead.
With a loud and proud home support behind them, Windsor gave it their all in the final moments of the game to try and break through Marlborough’s pack. But the visitors eventually ran away to secure one final penalty to emerge convincing winners in the end.
“We hung in and just didn’t quite nick it but I’m so proud of the boys.”@windsorrugby coach Jack Pattinson took the positives in his side’s defeat to Marlborough this afternoon. pic.twitter.com/NmrGiZy1W1— Joshua Browne (@JoshuaB_BM) February 29, 2020
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