The Essayons lost 54-28 at Moorlands Lane, but they had as much, if not more, possession and territory as their north Devon visitors.
However, they struggled to turn it into points, while Tarka Storm hit them with a number of length-of-the-field tries, which made the scoreline flattering.
The visitors took the lead in the opening minute from their opening set of six, yet half-back Lewis Stuart gave Saltash hope with a try four minutes later.
But Tarka stormed into a 24-4 lead with three more converted tries in the opening 20 minutes, while Saltash wasted a host of opportunities on the line after 15 minutes.
Saltash gave themselves hope with two good tries by loose forward Michael Capstick – one converted by Stuart and one converted by Ryan Cruickshanks – before half-time to make the score at the interval 24-16.
But the Essayons were hit by two early converted tries at the start of the second half that put Storm 36-16 ahead.
The hosts again had good pressure and camped on Tarka’s line but didn’t take it and the visitors scored another length-of-the-field try.
Ryan Simmons cut the gap for Saltash with a try from close range, which was quickly followed by another from Kieran Hurrell to make it 48-28.
But Tarka, who converted all their tries, had the last word with another length-of-the-field effort down the left after a Saltash attack came to nothing.
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