SALISBURY RFC bagged four valuable league points in a hard fought match 17-10 victory away at Wiltshire rivals Swindon, writes RICHARD LLOYD.

It was the side's third win on the trot in South West One East.

A strong wind driving straight down the pitch put the onus on playing the right rugby in each half. Against a very large Swindon outfit Salisbury were going to need a solid second half performance whatever the score at half-time and so it unfolded.

Salisbury started sharply, looking lively and immediately showing they had pace in the back three, patched up by a midfield that saw skipper Josh Green filling in at centre with Nik Wooton, both running hard yards throughout the game.

The travelling support’s confidence was shattered when the first line-out loss gave Swindon easy ball. Some weak tackling, slow set-up of the defensive line and Charles Cox was in to take the lead.

What followed was a rather error strewn game. Salisbury looking as though they could score through their pacey backs if only they could put together a string of quick phases, but handling errors by both sides punctured the flow of the game.

It took a further 25 minutes before Salisbury worked Max Bishop over in the corner to calm the nerves, only to allow Swindon straight back into the game with a run of penalties, leading to a 5m line-out and drive that bundled Swindon over for a second score.

This bucked up Salisbury. Although both sides eschewed kickable penalties when playing with the wind, it finally paid off for Salisbury when some slick inter-passing put Wotton in under the post.

Boyd Rouse kicking the first points of the day to take the Green and Whites into half-time with a 12-10 lead.

Playing against the wind Salisbury had to reduce the number of errors and keep Swindon’s huge pack away from scoring opportunities.

The first three minutes were just an enormous defensive effort.

The home team’s support thought they had scored on several occasions, but energised by the introduction of Richard Smart, Salisbury held and lifted the siege.

Slowly but surely Salisbury began to take a grip on the game. The Swindon out-half, Cameron Brown, often took the correct kicking option, but all too frequently it just allowed Salisbury’s back-three of Ross Stanley, Bishop and Dan Hammond on his return from injury, the opportunity to run straight back.

With the forwards now more comfortable at the breakdown, Salisbury’s tactics of keeping it tight and trying to work the fast men down the flanks was paying dividends.

But with such a wind any penalty given away is possible points.

Brown did eventually try to land one, but missed, allowing the away team to work their way up the field, helped by a number of penalties that culminated in the home team No 8 Kewell being yellow carded. This presented Salisbury with their best chance.

Despite the rough treatment meted out to scrum-half David Tonge, a constant stream of pressure landed on the Swindon line, but the score just would not come.

But with the bench unloaded, Salisbury’s control grew and grew and in the final minute of normal time, a break from Mike Dauwalder, supported by Tonge and the forwards saw Stanley flash over the line to finish the scoring.

Coach John Kimberely said afterwards: "Any away win is a good win. We played very well in the second half into a strong wind against a much bigger outfit. Our ability to play the full 80 minutes made all the difference today."

In terrible conditions, Salisbury’s second string, the United, won 24-10 away to Sherborne with skipper Jake McConnell and his pack putting in a commanding performance.

The handling defied the weather with debutante Blake Ryder releasing the backs and providing the opportunity for Elijah Hicks to dominate the scoreboard with four tries.

A see-saw first half ended level at 10-10 before the experience and extra power of the Salisbury team allowed them to dominate in the second half, based on a solid display by the front-row and a high workrate in defence, to finish with a deserved 24-10 away win.

Salisbury A XV did the double over Ellingham and Ringwood II’s winning 51-24 as they warmed up for next week’s Dorset and Wilts Cup semi-final at home to Trowbridge on Saturday (2pm).

Against Ellingham they ran in nine tries display in difficult weather conditions.

There was a brace apiece for Ben Armitage and Leon Landels and others came from Mat Van Leuven and Dom Porter to take a 34-0 lead at half-time.

Despite the Hampshire visitors stirring themselves to gain a four try bonus point. Mike Bryant, Gavin Shelton, Brandon Akal and Van Leuven adding his second saw Salisbury home.

Mark Lerpiniere and David Thorpe had outstanding games in defence.

Salisbury’s fourth XV were able to blood seven of the Colts in a excellent 38-0 away win at Bournemouth.

The blend of youth and experience, which included father and son Russell and Daniel Jugg, allowed fly-half Cam Mould to run the show, helping himself to two early tries before a tiring opposition ran out of steam.

Salisbury RFC Women played their return match against Newbury on last Sunday, on a very cold and windy afternoon. 
The hard work that Salisbury have put into training with coach Greg Leadshom has paid off as their performance was significantly better. 
This was third game as they gear up for entering the National Leagues next season.  
Although eventually losing 29-15 the game was in the balance for a long period. 
Newbury edged the tie despite a stunning hat-trick of tries from Crystal Trott. 
More players are always welcome to join training on Tuesday night's at 7pm at the Castle Road Club.