Twickenham heartbreak for Saltash as they narrowly lose RFU Senior Vase final

SALTASH suffered disappointment on their first trip to Twickenham after they narrowly lost 22-18 to Wath-upon-Dearne in the final of the RFU Senior Vase.

Saltash dominated the first half, but failed to turn their possession into points, despite their opponents having a man sin-binned, and went in at the break 15-8 down.

They closed the gap to two points after the interval before Wath re-opened it with a penalty try.

Saltash did finish strongly but they could not grab victory, despite impressive performances from Cornwall players Lewis Wells and Will Morton.

Winger Morton scored the game’s first try, which came after Wath had taken an early lead with a Jack Whitlaan penalty.

With Saltash getting on top, they went 8-3 up with a Harrison Reburn penalty and should have increased that lead, but they just could add a second try. They did try everything but Wath defended well.

Their Yorkshire opponents were reduced to 14 men, but, rather than hamper them, it seemed to inspire them.

Four minutes before half-time a kick up field was not dealt with by the Ashes and Wath’s Stephen Mason scored.

The try seemed to inspire the South Yorkshire club, who had played in the final before. On the stroke of half-time they went 15-8 up when Richard Hill bulldozed his way over the line for a converted second try.

Saltash came out fired up after the interval and their backs, led by Morton and scrum-half Olly Mulberry, caused problems for Wath.

Eventually they got their reward when Mulberry broke before flanker Wells crossed to make it 15-13.

Wath’s scrum was impressive and on 60 minutes they were awarded a penalty try to put them 22-13 up.

But after that it was all Saltash, who refused to give up hope of snatching victory.

They were given a lifeline when they scored with less than two minutes to go after another good run by Morton, who was a threat all game. He was stopped just short but Saltash recycled quickly and full-back Ryan Cruickshanks scored.

Saltash had one last chance to try and grab glory, but they were not able to take it. However, it has been a great season for them. Not only did they reach their first Twickenham cup final but they also won promotion back to Western Counties West and their second team triumphed in the Pedrick Cup.

Saltash: Ryan Cruickshanks, Will Morton, Jason Carroll, Harrison Reburn, James Moriaty, Kieran Down, Olly Mulberry, Adam Coutts, Ryan Rayner, Tom Olds, Kyle Fenton, Joe Ronayne, Lewis Wells, Phil Eatwell, Steve Hillman. Reps: Greg Eatwell, Todd Crofts, Brett Jennison, Liall Honey, Simon Nance, Chris Carpenter, Adam Merritt.

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