IN the glorious sunshine Salisbury put in a very industrious performance but lacked the clinical edge to finish off with a victory, as they lost at home 31-28 to Old Centralians.

In front of a good sized crowd the home side were pleased to welcome back Liam Gilbert and Rob Larcombe, both having had the best part of a year our with serious injuries.

Also in the side were Boyd Rouse, returning fresh from duty with the Zimbabwe 7s side, and new caps Ben Stridgeon, Joe Goldsmith and Kyle Hookway.

Salisbury looked to be playing some crisp, attacking rugby but failed to finish off chances.

Skipper Josh Green carried strongly on numerous occasions, backed by veteran Gareth Blackborow.

Joe Goldsmith on the open side flank was a thorn in Old Cents side before a knock saw him replaced by Dom Porter who put himself about in his usual robust fashion.

At half back Dave Tonge and Rouse were building an understanding, and it seemed as if a score was beckoning but Old Cents were resolute and the home side had to be satisfied with three Rouse penalties making a 9-0 lead, before the visitors claimed three points of their own.

A try from a line out saw the Gloucester side ahead at the break 10-9.

Salisbury seemed to go to sleep after half time and three tries from the visitors, each topped off with a conversion, threatened a rout.

Gilbert thought other wise and his years of experience showed as he made good ground before feeding Porter who smashed the tacklers before touching down, Rouse converting.

The home side, and support belatedly woke up and good hands saw Callum MacTaggart in at the corner with Rouse again converting from wide. Old Cents nerves were evident as the home side pressed again and MacTaggart claimed another to leave Salisbury three points short.

Despite pressure the points did not come and Old Cents departed relieved, but deserved, victors.

Salisbury will need to up their act when they visit Oxford Harlequins next Saturday.