Farnham returned to winning ways in style as they beat Salisbury 69-7 in Regional Two South Central.
Farnham welcomed Salisbury to Monkton Lane for their first ever fixture on a cold and overcast winter’s afternoon.
The home side kicked off and immediately went on the attack. A big carry from Harrison Horner – the first of many from this powerful lock forward – set the tone and put Farnham deep into the Salisbury 22. The ball was spilled moments later but the Farnham back row regained possession. Full-back Jack Scullion cruised through the defence and offloaded to flying winger Toby Simmons, who whistled down the line for Farnham’s first try. Nathan Phillimore had kicking duties for the day and notched the conversion to make it 7-0.
Salisbury restarted with a kick deep into Farnham’s 22 and the arms of Scullion. He ran it straight back, bustling through the tackles before showing real pace to go around the full-back to score. Phillimore added the conversion to make it 14-0.
On the back foot after two early tries, Salisbury bounced back, got their hands on the ball and created a good try-scoring opportunity.
Centre Bond Carter sliced through the Farnham defence with scrum half Jacques Kinnison in support. However, with the try line begging, the final pass didn’t go to hand.
Farnham cleared their lines, but the Salisbury winger sliced the return kick into the hands of Simmons who, with acres of open ground before him, needed no second invitation to skin three defenders and dot down for his second try from 60 metres out. Phillimore added the conversion to make it 21-0.
As can often happen when a team is dominant and running rampant, concentration levels fell. Farnham were guilty of repeated handling errors and the scoring rate slowed. Nevertheless, the game was played mostly in the Salisbury half. Eventually, a penalty gave Farnham the opportunity to set up a rolling maul but this and a series of close carries were halted by a determined Salisbury pack.
Ollie Brown at fly half then fizzed the ball wide to Simmons. He found fellow winger Phillimore who went over in the corner to make it 26-0.
The Black and Whites were now getting into their groove. A training ground move off the line-out set up the next score, with Simmons breaking down the blind side before finding Oscar Henderson inside him. Henderson barrelled over the Salisbury full-back and scored in the corner to make it 31-0.
Farnham were camped in Salisbury territory for most of the first period. More destructive rampages by locks Horner and Lambert-Parsons put the Salisbury defence into disarray. When the ball was moved to space out wide there was no-one to stop Phillimore dotting down for his second try.
The conversion was missed, but Farnham trotted off for half-time with a 36-0 lead.
Farnham looked to build on a positive first half with the fresh legs of Marco Azevedo at prop and Finlay Sloan into the back line. Scrum half Harry West soon broke the line to get into the Salisbury 22. Farnham’s mobile and aggressive pack were quick to recycle the ball, which was spun down the line to Scullion out wide. He scored in the corner. Phillimore added the conversion to make it 43-0.
Salisbury did not lie down. Led by their charging number eight James Kennedy, they strung numerous phases together which tested Farnham’s defence. After a string of penalties, Azevedo was given ten minutes in the sin bin. Salisbury were quick to make the man advantage count. Lock Mike Porter tapped and surged for the line, giving Salisbury their first try. The conversion made it 43-7.
Any thoughts of a Salisbury comeback were soon dispelled. Brown broke through and offloaded to Sloan, who drew the last man to put Scullion in for his hat-trick. The conversion made it 50-7.
Farnham were now rampant and looked to finish off the game in style. The next score came from open play, where slick hands among the backs put Henderson into space. He had the gas to outpace the defence and score wide on the right. Phillimore’s conversion made it 57-7.
A mist now descended, but Farnham showed their ruthless streak. Simmons scorched out of the Farnham 22. Fellow winger Phillimore was in support and he popped the ball to Sloan for his debut score for the first team. The conversion made it 64-7.
Farnham saved their best try for last. Horner monstered his way forward before off-loading to a charging Henderson. He was tackled but offloaded off the deck into the hands of a rampaging Jemi Akin-Olugbade. The veteran charged into the corner to finish the game in style.
“This was a convincing bonus-point win for Farnham, who dominated the game from the first minute,” said injured skipper Toby Salmon.
“It was just reward for lots of hard work on the training ground and showcased the talent we have. But we cannot afford to be complacent.”