Rugby round-up: Bletchley fearing the drop

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SATURDAY’S game against Marlow was billed as a must win fixture for Bletchley, but their 16-13 defeat has left the club fearing relegation from the South West One East League.

With a lengthy injury list and the strong winds making life difficult at Manor Fields, it would have felt like the gods were probably ganging up on Bletchley as they slipped to their 12th defeat in 17 league outings and remain stuck second from bottom.

Wimborne remain cut adrift at the foot of the table, but Bletchley were made to pay big for their defeat, with third from bottom side Oakmeadians seeing off Buckingham to move two points clear of the city side.

Following a couple of wind-assisted missed penalties, it was 14 minutes in to the Marlow match that the visitors got the first three points before Phil Harman found his range to level.

Only a fantastic Matt Nobes tackle prevented Marlow from scoring, and the match was stopped soon after as a visiting player was knocked unconscious and an ambulance was called.

It was Bletchley who got back into the swing of things better following the restart - Tim Stobbs charging in to score a try, converted by Harman to give the hosts a 10-3 lead after 30 minutes. However, Marlow received a boost just before the interval when a Bletchley player was shown the yellow card, and while a man light it wasn’t too tough for the away side to take advantage and make it 10-8.

That turned the game in Marlow’s favour and they edged ahead for the first time 16 minutes into the second half. But with only five minutes left on the clock Harman stepped up and converted a penalty to draw the sides level at 13 apiece.

That wasn’t the end of the scoring though and deep into added time it was Marlow who nicked the victory thanks to a converted penalty as the hosts again found themselves a man down after another infringement.

Olney gave runaway league leaders Maidenhead a good workout, but still fell to a heavy 50-12 defeat.

The writing was on the wall in the opening minute as the hosts scored a converted try with just 60 seconds on the clock, and they went on to make it 38-0 by half time. Olney restored some pride after the interval thanks to tries from Scot Walker and James Hannah, Kev Smith converting one.

Milton Keynes saw an end to their impressive run as they lost out 18-14 at Wootton Basssett. City had led 9-8 at half way thanks to three penalties from Phil Powell, but after the hosts fought back an Andy Champ try was a little too late for a fightback.