High Wycombe were unable to maintain their first half lead as they slipped to defeat at home against Marlow, who secured their sixth win of the season, with the game finishing at 20-25, writes Cameron Temple.

Marlow, now sat fifth in the table and one place above their opponents, were keen to bounce back with a win following a disappointing performance against Didcot last time out.

The stand out performer in defence was Bruno Renucci, with George Jafari capitalising on opportunities going forward to bag two tries and the man of the match award.

The first points on the board came as both sides exchanged penalty kicks early on, followed by the Wycombe 10 slotting a drop goal through posts.

Some quick thinking from the away side allowed Marlow’s Stuart Sylvester to catch the Wycombe defence off guard and score under the posts for the first try of the afternoon.

The home side responded with two tries of their own before half time to go into the break with a substantial 20-11 lead.

Shortly after half time Marlow began their comeback, as George Jafari crashed over the line to score. Lewis converted to get Marlow back within touching distance of the home side.

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PHOTO: Marlow (black and yellow) beat Bucks rivals High Wycombe 25-20 in the all-Bucks derby match in the Southern Counties North on Saturday.

With the clock ticking down and Marlow pushing to take the lead, Lewis slid a penalty kick just past the post, leaving the deficit at 2 points.

Coming into the final five minutes, Jafari broke the line of the Wycombe defence and rounded his opposite number to touch down for an outstanding and much needed individual score.

Lewis added the conversion to give Marlow a 20-25 lead.

Wycombe pushed for an equalising try but as the referee’s whistle sounded Wycombe were out of chances and celebrations ensued in the away dugout.

Marlow will now look to take this performance into the final game before Christmas at home against Shipston-on-Stour next week.

  • A High Wycombe Belles (ladies) team, who were not only missing a few regular players this week but also had to lend the opposition three for the duration of game, came out on top with a dominant and controlled display across all aspects of the rugby field on a cold and wet afternoon at Marlow.

An inexperienced Marlow front row meant scrums had to go uncontested right from the off, neutralising one of Wycombe’s strengths.

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PHOTO: High Wycombe Belles (black and white) in action against rivals Marlow on Sunday.

As a consequence, it allowed the Marlow 8 to pick off the back of scrums unchallenged and cause some early pressure but Wycombe defended with great resilience.

After forcing the turnover, Wycombe looked to the attack through the forwards gaining some crucial yards within the own 22.

A well played quick ball to the blind side caught Marlow off guard and gave Wycombe’s backs their first real opportunity of the game.

Winger Lisa Fitzpatrick received the ball well within her own 22, skipped a tackle and then turned on the gas leaving the Marlow Winger and Full Back in her trail. A scintillating 80m run lead to what was a fantastic solo try.

From the restart the story was largely the same however, Marlow started to try and utilise their backs more.

This was quickly quashed by some great defensive line speed led by the Wycombe half backs, back to route 1 for Marlow.

This proved successful for a short period but a Wycombe turnover and a slick move through the backs opened a gap for Wycombe Full Back Emma Delgado who cut through the Marlow line, finishing under the posts after a 60m run. Conversion by Rosie Binnie.

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PHOTO: High Wycombe Belles (black and white) in action against rivals Marlow on Sunday.

As the first half drew to a close the Marlow pack started to get a roll on and ran some good lines off the fringes of the ruck putting Wycombe on the back foot.

For the first time in the game Wycombe’s defence felt the pressure and Marlow put in a well worked team try.

The Belles came out in to the second half rejuvenated and focused. The forwards did their job as they have done so many times before this season creating space for the backs to have a run.

Excellent support play put the forwards back in control and a well worked team effort led to another Wycombe try ran in by Harvey Kaur.

As the weather took a turn for the worse it was back to basics for both sides with both forward packs taking a beating off each other whilst the backs took a beating from the elements.

Unfortunately for Marlow, this wasn’t an issue for Wycombe and eventually led to another Wycombe forwards try with Harvey Kaur running in her 2nd and Wycombe’s 4th of the game.

An extended period of back and forth play took up a large portion of the 2nd half with some good rugby from both sides.

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PHOTO: High Wycombe Belles (black and white) in action against rivals Marlow on Sunday.

The weather had started to ease and both sides were pulling their backs in to the attack once again. After some great end to end rugby, something had to give and it eventually did.

A textbook team drive of short line cutting forward runs for a few phases and then spreading to the backs was eventually finished in the corner by Jess Crawshaw capping a great team try.

As time was coming to a close the physicality of the game started to show with a few knocks to players on both sides after some big hits and contested rucks.

Wycombe once again came out on top however and another few phases of great team rugby opened another opportunity for the backs.

Some quick hands out wide got the ball in the hands of Full Back Emma once again who drew the attention of the Marlow defensive line before spinning out a perfectly timed pass to Winger Lisa Fitzpartrick to finish in the corner unopposed for her 2nd and Wycombe’s 6th try.