MARLBOROUGH continued their rise up the Dorset & Wilts One North table with a hard-fought victory in Bath.
Despite travelling with a depleted squad, Marlborough replled many of the early Down attacks, with Jonny Mantle, Will Turner, Russ Westcott and Corey Strickland dependable in defence all afternoon.
Down though finally seized contraol of the game, scoring two quick unconverted tries.
Marlborough worked their way back upfield and, as they tried to kick clear, scrum-half Will Thomas charged down and fell on the loose ball to halve the deficit before half time.
With Combe Down starting to cough up penalties, the visitors worked their way back into the game further, skipper Nathan Morgan landing a penalty.
Down continually got on the wrong side of the referee’s whistle and Marlborough took advantage.
Kicking for territory, they earned another shot at goal after a lineout infringement and Morgan landed the kick to push his side in front.
Combe Down exerted pressure for the final few minutes but the visitors held on for the victory.
Dorset & Wilts 1st XV Vase winners Marlborough travel to neighbours Hungerford in the Southern Counties Senior Vase semi final on Saturday (2pm).
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