MARLOW made it back-to-back wins in the Southern Counties North after a 16-9 victory against Bucks rivals Chesham on Saturday.

The waterlogged pitch at the Chiltern Hills Academy was never going to support running rugby, but for large parts of the match The Swans were threatening the Chesham line without being able to convert pressure into points.

The home team also belied their foot-of-the-table position by offering a well-organised and committed defence.

Despite playing uphill in the first half, Marlow dominated proceedings but were unable to convert the territory advantage into points plus there was always a threat from Chesham on the counter-attack.

The hosts took the lead with a well-taken penalty kick from full-back Toby Deane midway through the first period.

Marlow pressed hard to redress the balance, but with a disallowed try and further missed opportunities, again Chesham were able to counter and Deane converted a late penalty to give his side a 6-0 lead at half-time.

The Swans made a determined start to the second half and were able to convert sustained pressure with captain Hugo Jafari bulldozing his way over the line after 46 minutes. Freddie Lewis added the conversion to give the visitors a slim 7-6 advantage.

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Both teams then cancelled each other out for the next 20 minutes. With the centre of the pitch resembling a paddy field, this game became a war of attrition despite both sides looking to be as expansive as they could.

Chesham took advantage of a brief period of pressure in the Marlow 22 and a third penalty converted from Deane made it 9-7 to the home team.

Constant pressure from Marlow in the last quarter was visibly wearing down their hosts and a number of tired infringements led to the first of a series of kickable penalties. Scrum-half Lewis stepped up to strike the ball through the uprights to make it 10-9.

Two further penalties in the 70th and 78th minute were again converted from the man-of-the-match, whose distribution from the scrum in adverse conditions, kicking from hand and a perfect set of place kicks put Marlow in control.

Chesham fought to the end and both teams were visibly exhausted as extra time ran to 14 minutes.

Marlow gritted out the win and now stand in fourth position in the league table ahead of a visit to Riverwoods from bottom side and winless Didcot this Saturday.

Chesham should be confident to take down lesser opponents during the long season and, currently second from bottom in the table, head to seventh-placed Reading this Saturday.