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New Cross v Salcombe (47-12)

Sunday 6 February, 2022, by John Sprague

Going away to the run away league leaders in a re-arranged match being played on what would otherwise be a blank date was always going to be a hard ask for the Crabs. Nevertheless they turned up with a fairly strong, if slightly unfamiliar side, and with a full complement of subs.

Playing into the steady breeze Salcombe started at a gallop pushing the home side back to their 22 and with Max Rawlinson, brother Charlie, Jon Squire and Liam Wills making valuable metres with the ball in hand. The Crabs were dominant in the loose with James Lake, Kieron Clarke and Jay Hannaford winning ball and dumping New Cross ball carriers unceremoniously. All this pressure was rewarded when Lake finished off a fine surge from the forwards and got the try for a 5-0 lead with 8 minutes of play gone.

This shook the home side out of their complacency and the next quarter of the game was a far more even battle with the weight and determination of the New Cross side gradually establishing a domination in the loose. Despite some excellent clearing kicks from Lee Clarke and Liam Wills the tide was turning and New Cross got their well deserved try to move the score to 7-5 to their advantage. Salcombe at this point also lost several key players to injury as the constant tackling of big heavy runners took its toll on the Crabs’ players.

After a further 10 minutes New Cross got their second try to make the score 14-5 and then quickly ran in two more before half time to make it 28-5. Matters got worse for the Crabs in the second half when Lake was harshly yellow carded for not retreating instantly for a penalty and they suffered several more injuries. New Cross scored another 3 tries despite desperate Salcombe tackling. However late on a fine solo effort from Jon Squire brought a ray of sunshine to the proceedings for the away supporters to make the score 42-12 to New Cross who then had the last word with a final try to make it 47-12.

This week it is another long trip to 3rd placed South Molton ko 2.30. Salcombe have organised a coach for the trip and want as many supporters as possible to join the team on it for the day out. South Molton are a hospitable bunch and considerably boosted the bar takings at Twomeads when they played in the autumn. We intend returning the compliment. Contact Tom Woods for details of the coach.