FACING second-placed Towcestrians, bottom-placed Salisbury provided stiff opposition in front of a large crowd on Saturday.

Although the first-team pitch was waterlogged, trusty volunteers ensured the game went ahead on Hudson’s Field. Chairman Simon Hedges thanked all who helped ensure the game took place.

“I was pleased with the overall performance,”

he said.

“Towcestrians were simply too strong in the forwards though and this was reflected in the scoreline.”

A noisy band of vice presidents provided great vocal support for the home side but this did not prevent Towcestrians scoring tries in the third and 24th minutes, making the score 0-14.

Salisbury did not succumb to the pressure and a forward-based try came from Thorpe in the 32nd minute. It looked like the home team were back in the game at 7-14 but a well-taken try by Towcestrians led to a 7-19 half-time score.

The second half was much like the first and credit to Salisbury, especially Green, Esnouf and Dickson, who never took a backwards step and drove deep into the opposition's half.

Although first-phase possession remained a worry for Salisbury, a great 49th-minute try was secured by Kaminski, the forthright centre, with Loader adding a second conversion.

The crowd thought that Salisbury were coming back into the game at 14-19 but it was not to be. A penalty try was awarded to Towcestrians in the 55th minute after Salisbury collapsed a scrum on their line. This was quickly followed by another try and a 64th minute penalty making the final score of 14-34.

Salisbury can take heart from their performance against a strong side and, with several games to go and the beginnings of a settled squad, can move on with confidence for the remainder of the season.

The third team picked up a 15-7 win over New Milton's 3rd XV, who had hammered them 51-7 early in November, coming back from a try down with three of their own.