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Home > News > Salisbury 13 - Henley Wanderers 13
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Your News Salisbury 13 - Henley Wanderers 13
01
DEC

A very warm welcome at Dryleas awaited the first XV on Saturday. Henley Wanderers were looking forward to kick starting their season after a poor run of form, and although nothing too much was at stake with no relegation this season due to RFU restructures, other than competitive amateur ethos a good match was to bode. From the kick off early pressure was applied in what looked like a much improved Henley outfit, and the home side were keen to spin out long range passes to stretch the Salisbury defence. This tactic proved fruitful in luring Salisbury to an early offside infringement which they converted with 3 penalty points. Salisbury's Scrum Half Tim Cronin was in the mix but his tenacity enabled him to withstand some close quarter encounters with the resurgent Henley forwards.

Having soaked up the initial bombardment Salisbury gained some composure and started to play with some much needed composure and possession. In the 20th minute Cronin darted right and after a good run, offloaded to Liam Gilbert far out right and the try line drew ever closer. As the line beckoned the rolling advantage put the ball in Steve Drawbridge's hands and he powered his way over for a try to open Salisbury's account. From the re-start Salisbury were caught coming in from the wrong side of the ruck and another 3 points went Henley's way. Henley now had their tails up and started to run from all areas of the park putting Salisbury under pressure and pinned back in their own half. First up tackles were missed with unnerving regularity which Henley took full advantage of and punished the poor Salisbury defence with a try and conversion approaching half time. The score at the break was 13-5 in the home side's favour.

The second half started with Henley in the ascendency and from the kick off Salisbury fumbled from the receive and the Henley forwards were abundant once again,only to gift possession back to Salisbury for encroaching offside. The visitors cleared their lines and this ping pong fashion of kicking rugby ensured "tit for tat" for a period of time. Both sides gave equal penalties away and although most out of kicking range field position kicks to take advantage of the line outs were the norm. Tom Morton, Salisbury's Fly Half, pounded some long range kicks to put Henley on the back foot and from a scrum resulting from a line out saw No. 8, Jack Fishwick, score a classic try when he burst right and charged towards the line to go over, dragging the defence with him. This put Salisbury 3 points behind but still playing catch up with the time elapsing away. Rich West and Arnie Vyas came on to add fresh legs to keep the much need impetus going. Tom Pottage missed a reasonably easy kick and time was fading fast. Fishwick kicked and Henley, losing line-out possession, moved play into mid field and foolishly they infringed in front of the posts which resulted in an easy kick for Liam Gilbert to level the scores. The match ended 13-13 and although not a convincing performance a very just reflection on the efforts of both teams.

On Saturday Salisbury host mid-table High Wycombe, anticipating a large home crowd as it is the Christmas VPs lunch with a 2.30 p.m. kick off.

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