PROMOTION-contenders Old Redcliffians put beleaguered Salisbury RFC to the sword with a 52-18 hammering in National League 3 South West.

Green and Whites acquitted themselves well after conceding an early try and went onto lead 7-5. Lock forward Rob Best plucked a ball from the air and cantered over for a score, which was converted by Mattie Loader.

Although the hosts responded with a try, Loader restored parity with a penalty kick.

Old Reds took advantage of some poor tackling to ease ahead and only a try-saving tackle form Dan Hammond and a neat clearance by Rob Larcombe, earning his 100th cap, kept them from further extending it.

Salisbury were working hard to stay in touch but two further tries, one at the front of a lineout and the other from a push over, either side of a Loader penalty, saw them turn around 25-13.

However, the pressure told and the second half saw Old Reds scoring more frequently as the gallant Green and Whites tired.

Skipper Josh Green drove over from a scrum to try and redress the balance, but the loss of Gary Williamson and Best from the pack stretched resources and saw Christian Metson packing down on the flank for the last quarter. Ezra Caven touched down three times for the home side who were deserved victors on the day.

Salisbury, who have now lost nine matches on the bounce, face Weston Hornets and Ivybridge at Castle Road in the run up to Christmas.

Elsewhere, Salisbury United won a nailbiting Dorset and Wilts Cup game 38-31 over Wimborne thanks to a late try and conversion from Tom Pottage.

And Salisbury Veterans recorded a 17-12 win over Barbarians. Their next match will be at home on Saturday, January 7.