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Salisbury rugby lose by one point to table-toppers
12:06pm Thursday 7th March 2013 in Headlines
MARK Bugden declared himself “very proud” to be the coach of the Salisbury team who went close to beating South West Division 1 (East) table toppers Bracknell.
Salisbury were only beaten 25-24 with the visitors claiming a try in the closing seconds.
It was a contrast between old and new eras of rugby union, a battle between an amateur club, and a generously funded, semi professional outfit with ambitions above this level of rugby.
And it was so nearly won by the boys from Castle Road.
Salisbury took the lead when, after early pressure, Andy Herriott dropped a goal and, after Bracknell infringed, Rory Davis added a penalty.
With a quarter of the match gone, hooker Nick Taylor was banished to the side lines for kicking a loose ball at a ruck.
Salisbury brought Bobby Saunders into the front row and took James Kay off. Bracknell dragged the depleted defence about until gaps appeared and then punished Salisbury with tries from Michael Clarke and Stuart Silvester.
Taylor and Kay returned to the fray, in Kay’s case temporarily, as the referee yellow carded him in the tackle area to the bemusement of the crowd and coaches, and Salisbury were forced to compete for a further ten minutes a man down.
No further points were conceded and a try from Herriott put them back ahead at the break 11-10.
Salisbury were turning in big performances with the front row of Jack Paffett, Taylor and Gareth Blackborrow giving their bigger counterparts a hard time.
Gordon Grant and Rob Taylor were rampaging in the loose, Johnny Kay was playing like the tackle machine that he is, while Sean Barwick was enjoying the freedom of the back row.
Jake Williams, Herriott, Simon Quick and Johnny Campbell-Jones had the midfield locked down, and Ritchie Roe and Tom Emmett controlled the flanks.
Electric The visitors regained the lead through Neil Higgins before Salisbury scored the try of the game when Paffett picked up, accelerated into space and drew the defensive cover before popping the ball to Barwick who burst into the gap and cantered to the line unopposed.
Ceri Cummings put Bracknell ahead with a penalty with ten minutes remaining.
The electric Luke Tunabuna, on for Roe, crossed for a score and, with 80 minutes on the clock, wrongfooted the defence again to score – but the try was ruled out for a double movement.
Salisbury were brought back for a penalty advantage which Davis slotted to make the score 24-18 and players and supporters were expecting the whistle.
Inexplicably, further time was played and Jack Petelo crashed over for the visitors and Cummings converted from the touchline for an unexpected 25-24 success.
- Salisbury U16 came from behind to beat their Fordingbridge counterparts 33-19.
Bridge, inspired by Josh Merry and Lewis Rutledge, were 14 points up before Jack Paget pulled a try back.
It needed a length of the field score started by Nat Armstrong and finished by Tom Scott to bring Salisbury back into contention after a third Fordinbridge try.
Armstrong converted both to send Salisbury in 14-19 down at half-time.
Josh Bateman, Will Shaw and Scott added second half tries, with Armstrong converting twice.
- Girls in school years 9 to 11 are invited to training sessions at Salisbury RFC on Monday evenings at 6.15pm, beginning next week. Led by former 1st XV player Mark Saunby, the girls will be taught all the skills and aim to play some friendly matches. No experience of rugby is necessary.