Monday 13 February, 2023, by Oli Masters
Salcombe ended a difficult run of fixtures after a comfortable victory against a fired up Plymstock team. During what has become a small injury crisis the Crabs had to work hard during the week to come up with a game plan and personnel ready to arrest a small run of defeats and restore some confidence amongst the playing squad.
The home team actually raced into a commanding lead and found themselves 19 nil up in the first thirty minutes curtesy of Neil Elliott, Dan Sinnott & Jay Hannaford tries but found consistency hard to come by with the penalty count overtaking the score line at one point. Despite some nice flourishes Salcombe will feel like multiple tries were left unscored particularly in the first half when they had all of the momentum, possession and territory. The second half was scoreless and in truth offered little to write about as the game descended into a slightly scrappy affair. Salcombe came close to getting the bonus point they were looking for but the clarity of execution just wasn’t there when it mattered. Importantly for the first time this year the Crabs shut out their opponents from scoring any points but even with the win there was an air of disappointment with something missing from the mix much like a pizza with no pineapple. Perhaps this says something about the expectation levels amongst the squad that they were not satisfied even in victory but the victory in itself was the key takeaway from the afternoon’s endeavors and will hopefully form a reset of sorts from which to bounce back again against what we know will be a dogged and determined Old Techs side.
Notable performances over the last few weeks from those who have not got recognition due to a lack of press coverage were stand-in stand-off Liam Wills scorer of Salcombe’s last try some weeks ago, Matt Gibbens coming off the back of skippering his home town club the previous week and Full Back Schalk Herselman who had a fine game on Saturday making the most of limited ball carrying opportunities by punishing every wayward kick that came his way. Man of the Match went to veteran prop and cycling enthusiast Neil Elliott who is apparently getting faster with age, he was a willing ball carrier all day, chipped in with a tackle count in double figures and led from the front against a big and motivated pack.
The playing squad would like to thank the crowd that turned out to cheer on the Crabs, Nick LV for the after match players meal, all the volunteers in the bar kitchen and on the raffle and to Plymstock 2s who on this evidence do not deserve the league position they find themselves in. Salcombe would also like to say thank-you to Andy Gillies, playing his final match for Salcombe before heading back to his native New Zealand, if you ever come back Andy maybe bring a Barrett brother with you.