MARLBOROUGH was unable to build on the club’s nail-biting victory the previous weekend following a 36-15 defeat away to Oxford Harlequins on Saturday.

Ravaged by injuries and Covid, the Common outfit battled away against the second-place team but came up well short in the end.

Oxford came firing straight out of the blocks and within fifteen minutes scored a converted try, but Marlborough quickly clawed back three points through the boot of Will Grant.

Marlborough tried to build their way back into the game, but two further tries - one converted and one not - from Quins halted any kind of potential momentum before a further penalty extended the hosts’ lead into half-time.

In a series of events that seemed to sum up Marlborough’s luck right now, a number of injuries were suffered within the first twenty minutes of the first half, and all of the visitors’ replacements were on the pitch before the end of the first half.

Within five minutes of the restart, a quick-thinking Amori Nailago took a quick throw to Solodrau Radianrova which saw them both link up to threaten the Oxford try line before a kick through was touched down by Ben Caravou.

Marlborough sensed an opening and went for broke - Radianrova broke through the Oxford line to score with 20 minutes to play and Will Grant converted.

However, with less than 10 to play, Marlborough were reduced to 14 when Joe Pittams was sin-binned for a tip tackle.

The mistake cost the visitors dear as two further scores from Quins - both of which were converted - ensured the result would appear heavier than the performance deserved.

Elsewhere, in South West Premier, Royal Wootton Bassett slumped to the bottom of the table following a 13-29 reverse to Exmouth.

In South West One East, Chippenham were heavily beaten 57-14 away at Banbury while Trowbridge were awarded a home walkover against Grove.

In Southern Counties South, Corsham lost 15-0 at home to Combe Down while Devizes were awarded a home walkover against Avonvale.

Swindon College Old Boys lost 50-19 away at Swanage & Wareham, although there was better news for cross-town rivals, Swindon who beat Yeovil 31-17 at home.