Gallery / Rugby

GALLERY: Saltash Essayons turn on the style in their first home match

NEWLY-formed Saltash Essayons enjoyed a memorable first home game by running in 11 tries in a friendly match against South West Rugby League rivals Tarka Storm.

The east Cornwall side won an entertaining fixture in hot conditions 64-20 in front of a decent-sized crowd at Moorlands Lane.

Leading the way for the Essayons was Cornwall winger Will Morton, who ran in four tries. County team-mate Lewis Wells also impressed and deservedly got himself on the scoresheet late on.

The manner of Saltash’s win shows how far they have come since making their rugby league debut last month when they were narrowly beaten 22-20 by Tarka in the league.

The Essayons followed that up with 52-40 win over Teignbridge Trojans and they appear to be improving every match as they get used to the 13-man code.

It took them less than two minutes to open the scoring against Tarka on Saturday. From a penalty they attacked and Tom Rixon ran in under the posts for an easy conversion for Nick Blake.

Tarka hit back with an unconverted try by Jordan Taylor, but the rest of the half belonged to Saltash.

Prop Adam Coutts got their second try on 15 minutes before winger Morton bagged his first score down the left wing.

Morton, who has signed for South West One side Launceston for the 2018/19 rugby union season, then got a second on 26 minutes while Saltash were down to 12 men.

Olly Mullberry scored a fifth try for the hosts before half-time. In the process of trying to stop him, two Tarka players clashed heads that held the game up for a number of minutes while they received treatment.

All Saltash’s first half tries were converted by stand-off Blake as they led 30-4 at the interval.

They made that 42-4 with two more touch-downs in the first 10 minutes after the break. Joe Rider got the first after the interval before the prolific Morton crossed for his third. Both were converted by Blake.

But then Tarka, who had struggled with injuries during the game, scored three tries to Saltash’s one within 12 minutes.

Devon and Barnstaple hooker Ashlee Crouch got Tarka’s mini revival underway with a try. They then scored quickly again to close the gap to 42-14 before full-back Ryan Cruickhanks responded with a try for Saltash, which Kieran Down converted.

Tarka, whose side included an arm amputee, quickly added another through Alex Ford, but that was to be it for them as Saltash finished strongly with Kieran Down, Morton and Wells going over to complete the scoring.

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