HIGH flying Oxford took on Salisbury on their 4G playing surface in extremely windy conditions which made things difficult for both sides but produced an exciting display, as the home side came out on top winning 45-12.

Quins drew first blood but the visitors produced a strong spell of pressure and forced the hosts to defend on their five metre line.

However, after securing possession the home side were able to drive out from danger and run the ball from deep, only one tackle being completed and finished scoring under the posts.

Salisbury continued to play well and were unlucky when a high kick swirled in the wind causing confusion for both sides, but Quins retrieved it and the retreating forwards seemed to block the tacklers as they ran in the final score of the half.

Captain Richard Smart obviously had strong words for his troops as some good play saw the visitors besieging the home line and Mike Dawaulder crossed for the points.

Fortunes swung back and forth but Salisbury seemed to have fallen foul of the referee and were continually penalised allowing Oxford to relieve any pressure and play the game in the opposing half.

Three score followed for home side before Salisbury again bothered the scorer when Smart, capping a fine performance scored, Rory McTaggart adding the extras.

A failure to tackle led to Oxford Harlequins running under the posts untouched for a final score and conversion, and a scoreline that did not reflect the effort put in by the visitors.

Salisbury played well in difficult conditions for much of the game.

One is left to wonder if the failure to turn performance into victory is now psychological.

Another tough game beckons in the shape of Wiltshire rivals, and promotion hopefuls, Wootton Bassett on Saturday.

The coaches will be looking to build on these green shoots for that elusive victory.

There was better news from the other teams at the club as Salisbury United enjoyed a 24-22 success at Swanage and Wareham seconds.

Salisbury A XV also won at home 14-8 to Wimborne's third string.

Early pressure from Wimborne saw them score first but a move off a scrum late in the half saw Andrew Barrett score, converted by Matt Chilvers, before the visitors notched a penalty.

Salisbury dominated the second half and Brandon Towells ran in from deep, again converted by Chilvers, before Jamie Gray was denied by resolute defence.