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Latest News

Second Half Fightback

Ray Taylor  Saturday, October 13, 2001  16:29 GMT


Devizes Ist XV I5 Salisbury Ist XV 24
A non-league Saturday brought together old rivals Devizes and Salisbury. In perfect playing conditions Salisbury exerted early pressure by taking the first four scrums and finishing off a quickly taken penalty move by scoring in the corner. Devizes responded immediately when
Andy Webb kicked a penalty to make the score 5 - 3.

Since last week, the Devizes scrummaging had improved and lineout ball was more guaranteed. However too much possession was kicked away and easily covered by Salisbury. From one such ill directed clearance Salisbury ran the ball back, won a penalty and went ahead by 8 - 3.

When flyhalf Gareth Jones retired with a hamstrung injury the rearranged Devizes threequarter line became less effective in attack and disorganised in defence. Yet the whole team remained very competitive in withstanding Salisbury's mounting attacks. Another penalty took the score to 11 - 3 in Salisbury's favour. Only last ditch tackles by James Booth and Darren Penny prevented Salisbury from going further ahead. Eventually, after a
succession of forward drives, Salisbury broke through to score. At half time a lead of 18 - 3 for Salisbury looked ominous for Devizes.

Obviously having responded to the exhortations of skipper, James Gaiger, and veteran prop Mark Butler, Devizes displayed much greater determination in the second half and for long periods had good field positions, limiting Salisbury to just two further penalty scores whilst Devizes scored 2 tries both from close forward drives. Gavin Curnow, who had a good all round game, peeled off a ruck to go over unopposed for the first. Then Tim Hill was driven over for the second. Andy Webb converted to bring Devizes within two scores of an upset. However, Salisbury held firm to win 24 - 15.

Devizes can take comfort from their revival in the second half and can look forward with more confidence to their next League game with Ivel Barbarians at the Chivers ground on Saturday, 20 October.


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