AS AN end of season new cup format, Salisbury entertained Wadebridge Camels on Saturday in the Papa Johns Cup Regional 2 South Plate - Round 2.

Wadebridge brought a strong side to Castle Road after finishing fourth in the equivalent league in the south west and the long trip was well rewarded in a 10-21 win for the Camels.

Although Wadebridge started well monopolising possession, Salisbury were able to profit from a breakaway which was well finished by Ed Crossley. Maybe Salisbury were not prepared for an early score around the 10 minute mark as the kicking tee could not be sourced in time leading to a botched drop goal attempt leaving the score at 5-0.

Salisbury did then show some sharpness and shape and should have scored in the left corner if the ball was moved to speedy wing Wilson. A penalty was, however, conceded and Salisbury were then caught unawares by some effective interlinking by Wadebridge resulting in a try after the scrum half moved the ball left to a grateful wing to make the score 5-5 a quarter of the way through this knockout game.

Salisbury were beginning to concede penalties providing Wadebridge with simple exit plans and feeding a well drilled lineout. Although the opposition were going through the gears, Salisbury remained strong and resolute at the tackle and did gain a well earned penalty. From the ensuing lineout Salisbury were pickpocketed in the centre and Wadebridge should really have scored but, instead, offered a weak knock on. This led to a Salisbury scrum which looked strong throughout the game through mighty endeavours from Brown, Dance and Dauwalder.

Salisbury were able to keep Wadebridge at bay through some diligent and courageous defence in and around the home sides line although a yellow was issued to Smart just before half time for persistent infringements by the team. The greens hung in through to a half-time score of 5-5.

The second half scoring started with a Wadebridge penalty and there was a wise strategy to quietly build points on the scoreboard. Salisbury were treading a fine line and there were some self inflicted errors providing Wadebridge with greater opportunities to benefit from. Crossley, a welcome return to the side, was searching for full fitness at times, showed some deft touches and provided a productive link between forwards and backs in the attempt to gain some momentum. This was against a Salisbury lineout that began to falter to a superior Wadebridge pack but the opposition were struggling to take full advantage of this, no doubt due to the Salisbury stubborn defence.

An opposition penalty was awarded 20 metres from the home side’s line and the kick for the posts made the score 5-11. Salisbury needed to get in range for any score by working the ball and looking at width through the well equipped back line. To some, the game may well have become somewhat turgid but this is often the nature in knock out games and the home side were attempting to gain a foothold in the game.

Possibly due to fatigue after a long season, there was scrappy play to come and a lack of sustained pressure and momentum came from both side. Salisbury proceeded to miss a clearing opportunity and the Wadebridge pounced for a further try making the score 5-18 followed quickly by another Wadebridge penalty making it 5-21.

This led to Salisbury sweetest part of the game and, ably led by skipper Luke Newton, a skilled passage of play led to a quick penalty from Crossley, now with a second breath and guiding the team around the field, provided a swift pass to a scoring Colby in the corner culminating in a final score of 10-21 and Wadebridge progress to the next round leaving Salisbury to rest and regroup in readiness for an exciting season ahead.