WIMBORNE kicked off 2019 with a crushing 39-15 defeat at Marlborough in South West One East.

Defeat was the Minstermen’s eighth of the campaign and put a 16-point gap between them and the top five.

Despite Wimborne keeping possession in the opening exchanges, Marlborough broke out and secured the opening score with a converted try in the 14th minute.

Wimborne came back with purpose. Rob Best made inroads into the Marlborough 22 to force a penalty, Paul Roberts made no mistake with the resultant kick at goal.

Two lapses within quick succession from the Minstermen then allowed Marlborough to extend their advantage.

From a crosskick, the hosts scored their second try out wide which was converted by their very accurate goal-kicker, who then thumped over a penalty goal shortly after to make it 17-3.

Wimborne kept a foothold in the game just past the half an hour mark.

The visitors stretched the Marlborough defence, allowing Harry Teversham to cut back in from the wing and score his maiden senior team try.

Roberts converted to reduce to seven points the arrears.

But the Dorset club allowed the hosts in for their third try two minutes before half-time. Again converted, this put Wimborne 14 points behind at the interval.

The Leigh Park side started the second half positively and clawed themselves back into contention.

Jack Mason showed trademark strength to break through the Marlborough defence and touch down.

But with visiting pair Steve King and Best both succumbing to injury, Wimborne were unable to reduce the deficit any further.

Ruthless Marlborough then pulled further away with two scores and cemented victory with a successful penalty with the final kick of the match.

Wimborne take on unbeaten league leaders Newbury Blues at Leigh Park on Saturday.