Rugby Reports Saturday and Sunday 28th and 29th October 2017
Full reports on the 1st XV match at Stratford Upon Avon, the United at Weymouth and the Colts v Bournemouth are here...
Stratford Upon Avon 24-18 Salisbury
Salisbury were forced to shuffle their side once more but welcomed the return of the experienced pairing of Jon Goldsmith and Rob Larcombe in the backs alongside Rory MacTaggart making his debut on the wing in place of his brother Callum. Human dynamo Richard Goffin returned in the forwards packing down alongside Dom Porter while Josh Green returned to his favoured number 8 position.
The visitors started in determined mood, Porter carrying with determination and Goffin tireless in the loose, but lacked composure to turn pressure into points and when Stratford broke only a fine tackle from MacTaggart stopped them from scoring. Further pressure from the hosts led to to a score under the posts, easily converted and then a second score on the break saw them stretch their lead to 14 points.
Salisbury stuck to their game plan and, taking advantage of a yellow card for the hosts, Green drove from a scrummage and found Dave Tonge in support who put Dan Hammond in at the corner for a try. Porter then showed a turn of pace that had the crowd gasping as he made sixty yards before being pulled down, Tonge’s delayed pass saw Juan Van de Merwe running a sublime line and diving over untouched, Matt Loader converting for a 14-12 half time score.
Loader drew first blood after the break with a penalty but Salisbury were frustrated by the tactics employed by some of Stratford’s wilier old warriors who slowed the ball down, by fair means or slightly more questionable methods, at every opportunity.
Both sides were more impressive in defence than they were accurate in attack and when the hosts scored in the corner to grab a four point lead it looked like the end but the game still had twists in it. Defending frantically Stratford strayed offside and Loader kicked the points to narrow the lead to a point but a final try in the corner for the hosts looked to have made the game safe. Salisbury made one last effort and broke from deep but a last gasp double tackle saw Stratford home and dry.
This was a great game for the home support and any neutrals in the area but was frustrating for the Wiltshire side who produced some great individual performances, skipper Green to the fore, from Loader, Chris Metson and Bobby Saunders, but the lack of cohesion looked to result from player injury and unavailability. Next weeks derby game with Wimborne will be very interesting!
Weymouth and Portland 1st XV 14-21 Salisbury United
Salisbury United overcame Weymouth and Portland in a hard fought encounter. Jamie Wright, Mike Dawaulder and Ollie Dykes all crossed for tries and Mike Bryan was successful with all of his conversion attempts.
Salisbury Colts 36-26 Bournemouth Colts
An excellent performance resulted in a well deserved win against Bournemouth. After a nervous start Salisbury took control in the second quarter and never looked back. Despite allowing Bournemouth to close the gap to 29 -26, Salisbury deservedly scored the final points under the posts to clinch victory.
Berkshire U18 36-12 Salisbury U18
Dorset and Wilts U18 travelled to Maidenhead on Sunday to play a strong Berkshire squad. Salisbury were represented by four Salisbury Colts players Adam Farr, Jordan Jones, Cameron Mould and Harry Mould. The score finished in favour of the home side but all of the Salisbury boys impressed with Jones scoring on his County U18 debut.