MARLBOROUGH lost 29-22 at home to Banbury in South West One East last weekend.

Banbury - who have only lost once all season so far - were put under severe pressure by the Common outfit, but Marlborough were unable to claw back the difference and provide an upset to the form book.

In a competitive yet scoreless first 30 minutes, Marlborough were forced to defend hard before Banbury laid claim to the game’s first try shortly before the break.

The visitors scored another try moments later following a lapse in concentration from a maul five meters out, but once again the conversion was missed.

Marlborough kept their heads up and regrouped, and their patience paid off after a slick move resulted in Jonasa Tabua dotting down to reduce the deficit to five at the half.

First blood in the second half went to Banbury after an inexperienced Marlborough pack struggled to defend another line-out maul and Banbury scored another unconverted try.

Will Grant struck a penalty through for Marlborough to briefly arrest the visitors’ momentum.

The tries continued to come for Banbury though, and the visitors converted another score to nudge up to 22 points midway through the second half.

Marlborough went onto attack well for a period of time, setting up a few potential opportunities, and eventually Tommy Elbrow crashed over the line. Will Grant managed to convert this try against the odds from the wind. Again, Banbury answered with another very quick converted try.

At 29-15 down, Marlborough knew it was now or never. Ben Wilmott ran under the posts to reduce the deficit to nine before Grant drop-kicked the conversion with time of the essence.

However, despite their best efforts, Marlborough were unable to find that all-important try which would have given the opportunity to level the scores.

Elsewhere, Royal Wootton Bassett lost a high-scoring affair 44-36 to Launceston in South West Premier.

In South West One East, Chippenham beat Witney 26-21 while Trowbridge narrowly edged out Sherborne by 22-20 on the road.

In Southern Counties South, Devizes won their Wiltshire derby away at Corsham thanks to a comfortable 36-12 success.