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Guildford 61 Salisbury 26

9th. September 2023 - Salisbury travelled to Guildford for their second league match in Regional 2 South Central.

In scorching heat, they faced quality opposition who quickly imposed themselves making for a challenging afternoon for the visitors.

Guildford scored early with a converted try in the 4th minute which was soon followed when they gathered a poor clearance kick and ran in their second converted score on 10 minutes. Guildford had pace and physical presence in midfield which made an immediate impact but with the score a 14 – 0, Salisbury rallied. Will Murley made a sharp interception to sprint 50 metres but was caught 20 metres out. The visitors were then able to sustain some pressure and a well-executed driving maul from a lineout resulted in a try for Bobby Brown. Ollie Bates added the extras and Salisbury were nearly back on terms at 14 – 7.

Guildford’s response was uncompromising. They were very direct, accurate in their ball distribution and well supported by their backrow. Two further converted tries followed but once again, Salisbury fought back. Salisbury created some momentum late in the half; Brown clattered into the host’s midfield defence which was followed by a number phases and a try for wing Dan Hammond. The half ended at 28 – 14 with both sides needing and opportunity to take on water and get out of the heat. 

Salisbury started the second half confidently. An excellent clearance kick from Tom Tully pushed Guildford back into their 22 and the hosts were then taken further back when Salisbury elected to kick a penalty into the corner. Salisbury formed a driving maul at the lineout from which Brown broke to crash over for his second try. Bates converted to narrow the gap to 28 – 21. 

In response Guildford raised the tempo in attack. Once again direct running and accurate passing delivered good field position and placed Salisbury under intense pressure. Guildford scored four unanswered tries taking the score to 54 – 21 on 70 minutes. Salisbury mounted a spirited response; Murley, Tully and Ben Wheeler were tireless in their efforts to create opportunities and were eventually rewarded when Wheeler crossed the line for the visitor’s fourth try and a losing bonus point in the 78th minute. It was, however, Guildford who had the last word with in a converted score in the final minute to finish at 61 – 26.

This was clearly a tough afternoon for Salisbury who can take some encouragement from their four tries and a losing bonus point. They will host Tottonians at Castle Road next Saturday.

Report: Joe Cooper

Photo of Bobby Brown from previous match against Chichester: John Palmer

School Year (If Applicable)

Salisbury RFC
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