MARLBOROUGH warmed up for their Southern Area Vase final at Chipping Norton on Saturday by going fourth in the table.

The game was in doubt in the morning, but the club’s grounds team of David Pittams and Mark Younghusband, assisted by ex-Marlborough player Simon Horwood and eventually the first team squad made the surface playable.

The home side got into the ascendancy early on and scored two tries in the first half.

One was a forwards effort, finished off by veteran Kevin Clancy, before a fine backs move, ending in winger Alex Sawbridge crossing the line unopposed, brough the second.

With half backs Corey Strickland and Moree Nailago kicking the ball into Minety territory at every opportunity, five more tries followed in the second 40 minutes.

Skipper Nathan Morgan crossed as Nailago delayed a pass beautifully for him to run on to, then the returning Craig Phillips finished another fine team move.

Russ Westcott also crossed after the defence opened up in front of him, using his pace to break through unchallenged.

Sandwiched between the backs’ tries were two from the pack, Patch Campbell crashing over.

Prop Andy Hurley and forwards Craig Smith and Pete Hazell performed well for Minety, Academy graduate Mike New excelling at fly-half for the visitors.

Minety 2nd were forced to forfeit their Dorset & Wilts Three North fixture at Pewsey Vale 2nd after arriving with only 10 players.

Lent players by the hosts, they played a friendly which finish 15-15, scrum-half Rich Garbett scoring two tries.