SALISBURY RFC were involved in a humdinger of a clash, as they narrowly won 17-14 against Royal Wootton Bassett, but for large parts of the game a neutral would have been hard pressed to distinguish between high flying Salisbury and the hosts who are languishing at the bottom of the table.

In front of a large and partisan crowd Bassett hounded Salisbury at the breakdown, giving them all sorts of problems and slowing the ball down.

The visitors defended manfully but it came as no surprise when Bassett drove a scrummage over the line for the first score and a 7-0 lead which they maintained until the interval.

Salisbury now had the breeze behind them and looked more composed but still allowed Bassett pressure to force a number of handling errors and their play lacked the precision of the previous Saturday.

The first ray of light for Salisbury came when full back Harry Whittington finished off a slick move in the backs following a Matt Loader break, Loader added the conversion and then a penalty as the visitors took the lead for the first time.

The game looked to be petering out when some poor tackling by Salisbury allowed the hosts to run and a try and conversion restored their lead.

As the clock ticked down Salisbury appeared to be running out of options but the mercurial Loader shimmied past two defenders and found Dave Tonge in support who crossed for the winning score to the palpable relief of his team mates and the travelling faithful. Loader added another conversion and Salisbury were home but hardly dry.