SALISBURY RFC's third string were good value for their 42-12 victory over a powerful visiting Trowbridge side in their Dorset and Wilts Cup semi-final.

The home side’s greater invention and speed overcame a physical and direct set of opponents, motivated by Salisbury old boy Shane Johnstone.

Centre Joe Jackson opened the scoring and converted his own try after 12 minutes, finishing a sustained period of Salisbury pressure and helping settle nerves.

But the response from Trowbridge was immediate, helped by some very weak tackling.

The game settled down into the battle of styles, neither able to finish off opportunities, before scrum-half Nigel Thomas electrified the decent sized crowd with a slashing break and excellent finish, followed shortly after by a muscular effort from Gavin Shelton, both converted by Jackson to send Salisbury into the break with a healthy 21-5 lead.

Trowbridge scored next after a series of powerful bursts from their pack.

Things were now very tight, compounded by Salisbury’s growing penalty count and failure to put their bigger opponents down early in the tackle.

But this Salisbury team have a blend of youth and experience, and it was captain Dan Hobbs and Dave Thorpe who took a grip on proceedings, Thorpe treating himself to a score, converted by full-back Tom Buckingham.

This opened up the game allowing the spritely Salisbury backs to show their skills, including the evergreen Mark Lerpiniere who sidestepped his way over for a stunning solo try, Buckingham added the extras.

The game was all over, but there was time for Mike Bryan to finish the scoring with another fine solo effort, Buckingham striking the conversion for a deserved and satisfying win.

Salisbury’s England stars rallied to support the SportsPersons dinner at the Salisbury Rugby Club on Friday February 23.

Old boy David Egerton was the guest speaker, whilst ex Leicester and England full-back Tim Stimpson expertly hosted an auction.

This included signed shirts from Mike Brown, the entire All Blacks squad that played against the British Lions in 2017 and the star of the show, a Richard Hill World Cup winning shirt from 2003.

All the proceeds will be used to fund the new changing rooms that are planned to be built later this year.