Devon one

Salcombe were blown away in the first half in this fiercely contested encounter that boiled over on several occasions.

The home side won a penalty on the very first ruck of the game and from the resultant kick to the corner the forward pack trundled over to score the first points of the afternoon.

Salcombe immediately hit back and two penalties from Chris Drew gave the Crabs a 6-5 lead.

The lead was short lived as again the New Cross pack bundled their way over from close range despite the determined defence of the Salcombe pack.

During the next torrid 20 minutes New Cross were able to score a further three tries to leave Salcombe with a mountain to climb.

There were positives for Salcombe when in the closing stages of the first half a rolling maul skilfully controlled by James Cooper was illegally brought down short of the line.

From the following penalty prop Jim Winzer was unlucky not to score, after using his dazzling footwork to beat three opponents he fell short of the line.

The last play of the half summed Salcombe's season up to date. An aimless kick from New Cross deep into the Salcombe half wasn't dealt with. The pressure of playing catch-up rugby forces the kind of mistakes you don't see when leading games.

The ball was turned over and New Cross scored the killer try to all but end the game as a contest.

The second half was a far better showing from Salcombe, who played with far more pace and determination.

Flanker Jay Hannaford made a nuisance of himself, effectively disrupting the ball that New Cross had so much time with in the first period.

The backs looked dangerous as they spun the ball wide on several occasions. Lee Clarke and Darren Hopkins combined well as they put pressure on the New Cross defence.

Centre Rupert Bevan scored the only points of the second half when he dissected the home side's backline to score wide out after a good offload by captain Stuart Winzer.

The only team who looked like scoring in the second half was Salcombe, but they couldn't apply the finishing touches to moves when they were close to the line.

The game ended with tempers blowing over and a red card for the New Cross centre, who was obviously upset at something.

The result and other results in the league see Salcombe now sitting eight points adrift at the foot of Devon One.

This Saturday is the last home league game of the season where Salcombe host Plymouth Albion Oaks.

Relegation isn't final yet but Salcombe would need a good result here and rely on other teams to slip up.

Two important players for Salcombe this season Darren Clarke and Mark Parnowski have gone under the knife this week to sort out various injuries.

The whole club wish them a speedy recovery so they will be back fit for pre-season.