Rugby Report Saturday 20th October
To read the report of the 1st XV victory at Trowbridge, the United at Sherborne and the A XV victory at Ellingham and Ringwood then please follow.....
Trowbridge 29-33 Salisbury
Beautiful sunshine and a large crowd spurred the players of both sides to produce a derby match that went all the way to the wire with the advantage swinging back and forth. The South Wiltshire visitors started brightly with crisp interplay between forwards and backs but when they strayed offside at a kick the hosts punished them with a penalty. Salisbury were working hard and continued to move the ball meaningfully, when quick hands broke the Trowbridge line and Dave Tonge received an inside pass to sprint clear for the first try, Boyd Rouse adding the conversion.
Trowbridge came back with intent but a fantastic defensive effort led by man of the match Joe Goldsmith and Rob Larcombe kept them at bay. The visitors were getting plenty of ball but failed to turn possession into points and eventually the North Wilts side crossed wide on the right. Before half time another home score followed and the sides turned around 15-7.
Salisbury stared the second period in bright fashion and Callum MacTaggert was unlucky to be denied from a chip ahead. Trowbridge fell foul to the new high tackle law and went a man down and Salisbury seized the initiative and from a driving maul Gareth Blackborow slipped the ball to Tonge who scurried past the defence for his second of the game, Rouse again adding the conversion. The visitors were now enjoying a purple patch and after a period of pressure a beautifully timed Rouse pass sent Joe Tully to the line without a defenders’ hand on him, and another Rouse conversion followed.
Salisbury were working hard with Richard Smart to the fore but lost skipper Josh Green to a knee injury and the hosts capitalised with a series of mauls and a score to lead by a point. The visitors suffered again losing the vastly experienced Liam Gilbert with a knee injury, Callum McTaggart and Rouse also joining him on the sidelines and when Trowbridge score again with five minutes left on the clock it looked as though the bonus point win was going to North Wiltshire for an evening out.
There is a steel to this young Salisbury side and they applied pressure through a series of driving mauls before Ross Stanley was released and used his considerable pace to pull a score back in injury time. Tonge’s attempted drop goal conversion came back off the posts leaving the hosts three point clear. From the restart Smart and Goldsmith drove, the backs showed slick handling and Tulley sped clear to restore a lead. Tonge made no mistake from the kicking tee and no side was blown leaving the City side to celebrate with their travelling support.
This was a tough, hard fought and well earned victory, and the willingness of Salisbury to fight for every ball, an attitude epitomised by Goldsmith, Smart and Larcombe but espoused by all, will stand therm in good stead as the winter draws on.
Salisbury Utd 5-21 Sherborne 2nd XV
Salisbury United competed throughout the 5-21 loss to Sherborne, but a failure to put away their chances caught up with them. An even opening period saw Sherborne score first, before Leon Landels brought Salisbury back into the game ahead of the first of three penalties that took the Dorset side into the break with the lead. Back-rowers Ben Stridgeon and Toby Daw were prominent throughout, but the only scores in the second period went to Sherborne, who deserved to take home the spoils.
Ellingham and Ringwood 36-37 Salisbury A XV
Salisbury ‘A’ XV held their nerve to win a thriller away to Ellingham & Ringwood 37:36. A blistering start led to a penalty try followed by scores from Matt Hogarth and Edd Foster taking Salisbury out to a 5-20 lead before a fightback from the Hampshire side brought them within a point before Joe Jackson settled nerves with a converted try and a penalty to take Salisbury into half-time with a 27:19 lead. Possibly guilty of playing too much rugby in their own half, a free-flowing second period saw Salisbury score first with a second Jackson try ahead of Ellingham & Ringwood wrestling the advantage with three tries to take a lead into the final minute of the game. But the Salisbury scrum forced a turnover allowing quick hands to give Foster the space to squeeze into the corner for a deserved win for the away team.