1st October 2016 Salisbury 21 Brixham 26
Newly promoted Salisbury have, like Camborne, established their credentials in National 3 and the Fishermen’s visit to Wiltshire was expected to prove a stern test.
The game opened in the rain and Brixham established a very early lead when Ben Lovell slotted a penalty goal. This was soon extended. After winger Tom Goodman went close to scoring the opening try a couple of phases of forward attacks culminated in No 8 Dom Connor crossing the line from short range. Lovell missed the conversion but the lead was increased again when he nailed a second penalty attempt.
Salisbury got on the scoreboard with a penalty but a third Lovell penalty restored the Brixham lead. As the sun began to shine, midway through the first half, Salisbury began to put more pressure on the Brixham defence. After a five metre scrum and probing by their forwards the ball went out and the flyhalf burst through for an unconverted try.
From the restart Salisbury ran the ball back through the Brixham defence. As the attack was halted Brixham committed an offence and a yellow card. Salisbury gratefully kicked the penalty to trail by three points.
They soon had the lead when a strong run through the centre ended with a try under the posts. A straightforward conversion followed and the lead was further extended by a penalty goal.
On the stroke of half-time Brixham, now back to full strength, scored their second try to bring the scoreline level. A lineout in the Salisbury 22 was secured and the ball went infield. Goodman took a short pass, at pace, to burst through to the posts.
21 points apiece at the break and both sides believed they could win it.
From the restart Salisbury attacked but could make little progress. The ball was spilt and Brixham counter-attacked. Strong running by centre Tom McLean, lock Malcolm Onsando and scrum-half Noah Nash took Brixham to within touching distance of the line but the final pass went awry. Brixham took the resulting scrum against the head and the ball made its way across the park for Goodman to touch down. Lovell’s touchline conversion was denied by the post but Brixham were in the lead again.
The final thirty-five minutes of the game provided lots of action – but no further scores and no kickable opportunities either. The defences were able to cope with the attacking efforts, assisted to some degree by handling errors.
Neither side was able to establish any territorial advantage and exert any prolonged pressure so the spectators were treated to a game that ebbed and flowed. Towards the end Salisbury did put some strain on Brixham but the defensive cordon held firm and the Fishermen had secured their haul of points.