Marlborough made a disappointing start to their Seddon Shields primary schools rugby tournament campaign at Westport yesterday.
The young Red Devils were edged out 7-10 by a well-drilled and determined Golden Bay Motueka side, although coach David Nott said his young Marlborough charges did not disgrace themselves and gave it everything.
Wing Lachie Gray scored an early try for Marlborough, a fine finishing effort and Marlborough's player of the day Jack Shadbolt, converted.
Marlborough almost clinched the match in the final minutes, once being held up over the tryline and on a second occasion coming centimetres short of scoring.
Others to shine in the beaten side included loose forwards Josh Godsiff and Wilson Meadowcroft.
Marlborough take on West Coast today followed by Nelson tomorrow and their tournament finishes on Thursday against Buller.