Wednesday, 06 July 2022

Marlow hit back to take share of spoils

HOSTS Henley Colts and local rivals Marlow Colts fought out a draw in their top-of-the-table clash last Sunday.

Henley started slowly and were on the back foot with Marlow running with pace, forcing them to defend as tackles flew in from Josh Butler, Brett White, Harrison Bell and Ollie Vince Porteous.

Michael Duda and Ryan Porter were both quickly onto the ball, slowing Marlow down. Having cleared their lines, Henley found themselves back defending from a huge kick from the Marlow fly half.

Henley were able to get their hands onto the ball and started making mini line breaks as Max Brown and Dan Kernick were able to power their way through.

Henley were slow to support and were not able to get any phases together until a strong carry from Zack Mancey allowed Jake Shutt ball on the front foot to give Kernick space to run into and he found Alex Ashford sprinting onto the ball where he weaved his way to the try line from 45 metres.

From the kick off winger Ollie Shute made a 20-metre break only for the support to be slow to react. Porter was causing problems in the line-out for Marlow, which allowed Euan MacKenzie some space to carry hard.

Marlow then had a turn to dominate, using their forwards to make inroads in the defence. Through slow and patient build up they did manage a score to take the half-time score to 12-5.

The second half started with Henley straight on the attack. The forwards were rucking aggressively leaving the ball on a plate for scrum half George Goodenough. Henley had a good chance to score when Duda made an arching run only for the pass to go just behind Kernick. However, the pressure told and Shutt found Duda with a pop pass, allowing him to sprint in from the 22-metre line.

Marlow were struggling to get out of their half as they were thwarted by Henley’s back three of Ashford, Shute, and Rufus Shanagher. Hugo Bullows-Weeks was also looking dangerous in space, as a good break allowed the Henley forwards to get on to the front foot, which saw Duda crash over for his second try.

Henley kept pressing as the forwards where sharing working load with Andrew Biscoe, Ollie Rouiller, and Tim Robinson getting involved.

Henley lost Bullows-Weeks to an injured shoulder whilst chasing back a kick. The break allowed Marlow to regroup and they entered the Henley 22 for the first time where a line-out catch and drive saw them score in the corner to make the scores level with 10 minutes to go.

Henley pushed hard with Zack Goforth finding holes in the defence and making mini breaks, often finding Brown in support.

The last play of the game was a scrum to Henley five metres out. A pick by Brown saw him drive forward to just short of the line where the ball was recycled and again came Henley, over the line but they were held up as the final whistle blew.

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