SALISBURY were powerless to prevent themselves falling to a 29-10 defeat to Newbury Blues in Regional 2 Tribute South Central.

In an error-strewn first half, Newbury initially had the upper hand but the Wiltshire side fought back and for long periods were in the ascendancy but failed to turn possession into points.

The home side took the lead darting down the blind side of a maul, an area which ought to have been defended better, but Salisbury struck back through Rob Crossley.

Jack Fitzgerald had moved in from outside half to scrum-half and was busy trying to get the back line moving but all too frequently the visitors kicked away possession within their opponents’ 22 area. The ball kept in hand may have served them better in the conditions.

It was Fitzgerald who put the city side ahead with a well taken-interception and a run in from his own half just as Newbury applied pressure towards the end of the half. The home side responded with a converted try to lead at the interval.

The second half followed much the same pattern and with both sides visibly tiring it was Salisbury who dropped away the most.

Their first-half domination of the scrummage deserted them and with tired legs in defence they could not repel a concerted period of Newbury pressure, conceding three more tries.

Blake Ryder with his weaving runs caught the eye and Crossley turned in another brave performance. George Fossey was a nuisance throughout up front and the return of Richard Smart hints at better things to come.

Next week Salisbury make the trip to Witney and will need to be on their toes in a much sterner test.