A BRAVE Salisbury RFC came agonisingly close to ending their wretched run of form when bringing scintillating rugby to Castle Road against Ivybridge in National League 3 South West.

Mitch Pinkus' late try caused heartbreak for Green and Whites who lost by two points in a slim 29-31 defeat.

Despite the 11th successive loss, Neil Loader's men moved up one place into 12th in the table thanks to a losing bonus point but still remain 10 points from safety.

The Devon-based visitors started the scoring through Lewis Patterson's try, Pinkus adding the extras.

Salisbury responded as Rob Larcombe smashed the defence to score with Tom Lane adding the extras.

The home side smelt blood and a searing break from Dave Tonge, who found Matt Loader and Larcombe in support to send Rob Best crashing over for a score, again Lane converting. Lane injured his eye in a collision and was replaced seamlessly by Andy Herriott, but a fortunate bounce from a speculative chip, saw Ivybridge over the line through Sebastian Slade, Pinkus again converting.

Level on scores at the break 14-14, the city side started the second half positively, and Larcombe picked a superb line to streak home leaving the defence flat-footed, Loader this time adding the conversion.

Ivybridge responded with their best spell and forced a series of scrums on the home line which Salisbury resisted fiercely before replacement Gary Williamson was deemed to have infringed and returned to the bench for ten minutes.

The home 14 dug deep and Loader dispatched a penalty to extend their lead.

Salisbury were totally in the game and their next attack saw another lineout take by Josh Green turn into a maul and Nathaniel Titchard-Jones emerged triumphant from a pile of bodies with the ball.

At 29-14 Salisbury were daring to dream.

But a penalty saw Pinkus calmly take the three points on offer. Ivybridge then added tries through Pinkus and Jordan Anderton, Pinkus breaking the hearts of the home side with the last conversion.

Green and Whites will be looking to make a fresh start in 2017. Their first game in the new year is away at Bracknell on Saturday, January 7.