REDUCING the 11-point gap at the foot of South West 1 (East) remains a priority for Salisbury RFC, but first and foremost they will enjoy their second campaign win.

There were no Newbury blues this time round – losing 31-11 back in September – as Salisbury triumphed to a 20-6 victory.

Injuries and availabilities have impacted on Salisbury’s tough league start but, as key players return, Neil Loader is starting to stamp his mark on the side that could be in for an eventful couple of months.

Saturday saw Matthew Loader and Paddy Flood make their debuts on the wings at a buoyant Castle Road.

Richie Roe returned at full back, and Luke Esnouf continued his return to action on the blind side flank and produced a star man display.

Loader opened the scoring with a penalty and then Salisbury were forced to soak up a period of pressure from the visitors, tackling like demons and defending solidly, they drew Newbury’s fire and then, with half an hour gone, struck again with Flood crossing in the corner.

The stylish James Kaminski added another score early in the second half, before the visitors bothered the scorers with a penalty of their own.

As Salisbury began to introduce their replacements from the bench, the visitors added a second penalty, but the city side were definitely in charge with Esnouf, Matt Pallas and Mike Dawaulder leading the charge.

Dauwalder was the player to crash over for the final try, and Loader added the conversion.

“We deserved that,” beamed jubilant chairman Simon Hedges.

“We were better in every department and played some very good rugby considering the conditions.”

  • Salisbury Colts lost out to Devizes, from the division above, 5-12 in the Dorset and Wilts under 18 Cup semi-final.