Farnham Rugby Club returned to winning ways with a 28-11 victory against a determined Salisbury side in Regional Two South Central on Saturday.

Farnham handed a debut to academy graduate Jake Harris at scrum-half, while the experienced Ben Adams returned at number eight.

Salisbury kicked off and looked to take advantage of the strong breeze behind them. Their first attack was thwarted by a thunderous tackle from Josh Watson to force a knock-on. However, Salisbury opened the scoring moments later with an easy penalty to lead 3-0.

Farnham needed to get their hands on the ball and get into the game. The strong breeze made the lineout difficult but Jonny Vincent and Jemi Akin-Olugbade cleaned up any scraps and kept Farnham moving forward. Penalties cost Farnham field position. After another penalty ten metres out, Salisbury took a quick tap and bundled over in the corner for the first try of the game to lead 8-0.

Farnham reacted almost immediately, winning a breakdown penalty that allowed a kick to the corner. The initial drive was halted, however Vincent broke away and beat two defenders to power over for Farnham’s first score. The conversion made it 8-7.

The momentum had shifted. Farnham enjoyed long spells in the Salisbury 22 but couldn’t find the finishing touch. Salisbury’s aggressive defence twice held up Farnham over the line. A yellow card for the Salisbury 12 reduced them to 14 men on half-time.

Farnham kicked off with the breeze behind them and looked to pin Salisbury in their half. A lineout ten metres out gave Farnham a good opportunity that was well taken. Max Williams ran a brilliant line off Harris and sped under the posts to score Farnham’s second try. The conversion made it 14-8. Salisbury responded with an easy three points to make it 14-11.

The next score came from a loose play from Salisbury. A knock-on fell into the hands of Callum Jones, who found Williams, who sprinted in from 60 metres. The conversion made it 21-11.

Salisbury refused to lie down and almost broke down a resolute Farnham defence, but they knocked on just before the line and the chance went begging.

Farnham were now managing the game well and were eager to find the bonus-point try. With just a minute left to play, Farnham’s forwards and backs interlinked well with the ball moved wide to the left. Stopped five metres short, Toby Salmon shipped the ball wide to Vincent, but the final pass didn’t quite go to hand. Salisbury kept playing and tried to run it out from their own line, only for Jack Haylett to steal the ball at the breakdown. The ball was recycled out to the left where Williams was on hand to finish well in the corner and complete his hat trick. The successful conversion was the last act of the game.

Farnham will have a week off for Easter before finishing their league campaign at home to London Irish Wild Geese on Saturday, April 6 (3pm).