IT may only be November, but Salisbury RFC are already facing a battle to avoid relegation from National League 3 South West.

Green and Whites were soundly beaten at home by Cleve on Saturday 51-31 in what was their sixth successive defeat, seeing them slip to second from bottom. However, they are seven points clear of basement side Bromsgrove.

The home side started brightly on Saturday and, despite going behind to a penalty, scored a fine try with Josh Green and Tom Ranaboldo both involved in the build-up and Matt Dawson getting the honours.

Cleve responded at once and then, despite a period of pressure which failed to turn up any points for Salisbury, broke to increase their lead.

Salisbury rallied to score the try of the game with Chris Metson breaking and feeding Ollie Bowden who recycled well in the tackle for Rob Larcombe to send Tom Lane crashing over for a score; Lane added a touch line conversion for the lead.

The visitors began to wrest control of the game and steadily increased their lead. Jamie Miller came off of the bench to add a brace of well taken tries, the second of which followed a lengthy stoppage for an injury to a Cleve forward, but Salisbury’s only consolation was the four-try bonus point.

Neil Loader's men have a weekend off before travelling to Newton Abott on Saturday, November 19.

Elsewhere, Salisbury United registered an emphatic 60-31 win at North Dorset to leap into third in Dorset and Wilts 1 South.

Early scores from Mark Lerpiniere and Tom Pottage highlighted Salisbury’s ability, but missed tackles should have rung some alarm bells before Mike Latter and Tom Appleyard extended the lead. North Dorset deservedly added a try of their own before Tom Bond, Mike Dauwalder and Pottage went over to complete the first half scoring. The strong wind was a factor, but North Dorset were more competitive in the second period, adding four tries to their tally, while Lerpiniere, Henry Wilson and Adam Smith completed Salisbury’s scoring, Pottage converting five tries.