Grove (35) vs Marlow (19)
Previous Marlow defeat avenged
Grove avenged their defeat at Marlow last November, when they lost 26 : 23 after having been 0 : 23 up at half time, with a well deserved victory.
Flanker Ben Law started the Grove attacks with a good run up the wing but was just stopped short of the try line. This was followed by another strong run from prop Cash Chivers but Grove did not break through. Grove then started making handling mistakes and suddenly the tall Marlow right wing pounced and with a mazy run avoided all attempts to tackle him and touched down for a great try. This was converted and Marlow were 0 : 7 up after 12 minutes. Lock Richard Haire then broke for Grove and fed Harry Carr who went clear for the line but play was strangely called back for a Grove scrum. Nevertheless it was Carr who collected from the scrum and quick as a flash was over the line in the corner for Grove's first try. Unfortunately full back Roger Sevier's conversion hit the upright and rebounded the wrong way so the score moved to 5 : 7 in Marlow's favour. Grove continued with an error strewn performance and it wasn't long before Marlow took advantage and went over again and with a great touchline conversion were deservedly 5 : 14 ahead after 28 minutes.
Grove clambered back with a successful Roger Sevier penalty for 8 : 14. Despite more mistakes from the home side Grove finally strung together a good move which resulted in centre Tom Clipsham taking a great pass from Haire then having a long run which ended with a feed to Carr who beat three or four defenders to score his second try, this time between the posts. Roger Sevier's successful conversion meant Grove were in front at 15 : 14. Marlow came back strongly but were met with some aggressive tackling, particularly from Haire. Again it was Haire, Clipsham and Law who powered back at Marlow but the visitors defences held. Centre Joe Bellinger then went ahead strongly for Grove but half time arrived before any more scoring could take place.
Shortly after the start of the second half Grove were awarded a penalty on the Marlow 10 metre line and again Roger Sevier's kick hit the upright and rebounded into play leading to a promising follow up attack by fly half Nick Sevier, hooker Steve Dixey, wing Guy Nicholl, Cash Chivers, and lock Paul Miles before Marlow were awarded a scrum for a Grove knock-on. Matt Young substituted at flank for Grove. With the referee initially missing all sorts of misdemeanours in the following bout of play, a penalty to Grove was eventually awarded and Roger Sevier this time obliged to put Grove 18 : 14 up. Grove continued trying to play purposefully but scrappy passing was letting them down and Marlow were being made to look better than they were. Marlow advanced into Grove territory but another penalty to the home side allowed Grove to clear the danger with a kick to touch. The resultant line out was however lost and Marlow began to attack with some confidence. Possession was regained by Grove and scrum half Joe Chivers had a decent solo run at the opposition. This in turn lead to a piece of good passing involving Nick Sevier, centre Joe Bellinger and finally Guy Nicholl who took the ball to the line for Grove's third try of the day and a 23 : 14 lead, the conversion being missed. Grove were now playing better and definitely in the ascendancy and it was Haire who lead the next attack feeding Nick Sevier who powered forward before getting the ball to Joe Chivers. Play stopped briefly but Grove then continued their attacks with Bellinger making a strong run with good hands off evident. With a kickable penalty awarded to Grove the home side elected to go for a scrum instead and as a result Cash Chivers was able to power over for Grove's bonus point try but was injured in the process and so left the field to be replaced by Jimmy Wallbridge. Roger Sevier converted and Grove were now 30 : 14 ahead. Centre Tom Clipsham, supported by Carr then had a good thrusting run, taking the ball fully 50 metres forward before play was called all the way back for a Grove penalty, despite the territorial gains already made. The penalty was taken but a subsequent sloppy kick from hand went straight to the waiting Marlow backs enabling them to advance strongly for a penalty 5 metres from the Grove line. With nobody on the home side apparently watching what was going on the penalty was quickly taken and the softest of trys scored by Marlow. The conversion was missed but the score had now moved to 30 : 19. Huw Lewis now substituted for Clipsham, playing on the wing with Guy Nicholl moving to centre. With time running out Marlow's play was now becoming desperate and penalties to Grove began to mount. Then with a Grove scrum awarded 5 metres from the Marlow line, the home pack drove magnificently with the ball at No. 8 Rory Gratwohl's feet until Joe Chivers was able to touch down behind the pack for the final try of the day. Roger Sevier's conversion sailed wide and the match ended with Grove having achieved a decisive 35 : 19 win.