Coney Hill 18
A NUMBER of factors conspired to deprive Coney Hill of the points from a game they should have won.
A deficit of two points underlined the need for a reliable kicker when there are three tries to be converted and a faltering lineout gifts possession to the opposition.
Marlow were determined to avenge their earlier defeat at Metz Way and after conceding a third-minute penalty to Charles Hubert, the only success of the day with the boot, they took control.
Slick inter-passing down the blindside put fly-half William Fulton in for a try, converted by full-back Nick Carvery.
Marlow retained the initiative and Carvery kicked a penalty to stretch the lead to 10-3.
This woke up the Hillmen and they turned to their strength, driving flanker over Luke Foran to score in a corner.
Some aimless kicking by Coney Hill gave the hosts possession and another Carvery penalty increased the lead before Hill staged their best move of the game.
Quick ball from scrum-half Sean Penn was taken at pace by the backs and hooker Ryan Nicholls popped up for a well-taken try.
The conversion was missed, making it at 13-13 at the interval.
Almost from the restart Hill's first-up tackling let them down and Marlow flanker Jordan Brodley snaked through to give Carvery an easy conversion.
Hill hit back with a slick blindside move. Quick ball from Lynn was carried on by flanker Sid King and his well-timed pass put winger Joe Hamlin over.
The conversion was missed but at 20-18 it was anybody's game and Coney Hill threw everything into attack.
But again a crucial five metre lineout was lost and white-line fever stopped passes reaching men better placed.
Chances were being created but lost through stern defence by Marlow.
In the dying seconds Coney Hill breached Marlow's 22 yet again but with a clear overlap begging for the ball an abortive drop goal was attempted under pressure and missed.
The three points it represented would have won the game but not for the first time the wrong option was taken and the game lost.
Coney Hill: L Morgan, J Hamlin, M Whelan, S Felice, A Barnes (C Holder 66), C Hubert, S Lynn, J Dix, R Nicholls (C Hall 72), S Price, S King, M Crawford, L Foran, C Hinchman, A McRae (A Pettigrew 51).
Marlow: N Carvery, M Saunders, S Mallif, S Butler, S Pincott, W Fulton, H Mears (M Poole 60), M Cook, M Conorg (N Bishop 60), E Smyth, B Smith, E Jones, P Martin, J Brodley, H Rodger. Other rep: O Watt.
Referee: Matt Taylor (Kent Society)
Star players, for Coney Hill: Back-rowers Sid King and Andy McRae made the hard yards to set up chances.
For Marlow: Number eight Harry Rodger was supreme in the lineout and ever-present in the loose.