Senior Rugby Reports Saturday 20th January 2018
For a report on the 1st XV encounter with Royal Wootton Bassett follow...
Salisbury 15-18 Royal Wootton Bassett
Salisbury once again suffered the loss of an influential player from the selected sided when top try scorer and the only recognised kicker in the side, Jack Sheldrake, withdrew with an injury. Skipper Josh Green stepped out of the pack into the wide open spaces of the backs while the multi talented Ollie Bowden continued to stand in at stand off with Rich Knight partnering him at scrum half.
The conditions were very difficult and seemed more suited to the visitors’, Royal Wotton Bassett, skill set more but Salisbury started well with their pack, led by Gary Williamson, dominating the set piece. However, unable to turn territory into points, they fell behind with a quarter of the match gone to a try and then conceded a further score and a penalty to turn round 0-13 down.
As the pitch grew muddier and handling more difficult the city side rallied and Serge Hammond was driven over for a score. The game continued in the same vein with both sides more successful in defence than attack. Another forward effort by Salisbury appeared to be foundering when a switch by Dan Hammond saw him make light of the mud and skip in for a try.
The home side scented blood and were running the ball from all points and when Bassett infringed they pounced to work Bowden in at the right hand corner to lead for the first time with ten minutes left on the clock.
Bassett put in a huge effort but Salisbury stood firm and looked to have secured victory but a huge drive by the visitors in the last minute saw them drive over for a valuable score, the one successful penalty being the difference between the sides.
Salisbury will lick their wounds and hope for improved availability as the lack of several talismanic players is now hurting them. Next weeks visitors, Witney, present another tough challenge.