Category: Results

Sale FC 5 Cambridge 24

Sale FC’s season finale ends on a losing note as Cambridge produce the great escape at the CorpAcq Stadium.

Matt Bradley in action against Cambridge (c) Mark Ferriss Photography

With Sale FC’s season finale being one where the home side had already secured their future in National League One in only their first season in the league, today’s game was always going to be more about the visitors Cambridge, and whether or not they could escape the relegation battle that they had become a part of during the second half of the season.

Knowing that the bottom two had already gone, these being Esher Rugby and Loughborough Students respectively, it was going to go down to the wire with three sides, namely Caldy, Birmingham Moseley and Cambridge, who occupied the final relegation place all going into battle knowing a five point win would allow them to survive.

The game was barely three minutes old when Cambridge Centre James Ayrton, was able to latch on to a pass from brother Michael, who had run around the oncoming Sale defence before putting his brother in to the right of the posts, therefore giving the visitors the lead and Fly Half Ben Penfold the opportunity to add the extras in the opening exchanges of the match.

Now that the visitors had taken a seven point lead in the match, Sale were looking to try and get back in the match with a number of attacking possessions that didn’t really come off, due to either sloppy passing or the ball being knocked on in terribly wet conditions.

With the weather playing a large part in the afternoon’s proceedings, Sale struggles continued especially when they had been awarded an advantage, leading to a lineout close to the Cambridge 10m line. Unfortunately, Briggs couldn’t find his man and the advantage was seemingly lost.

Rhys Davies reaches new heights against Cambridge (c) Mark Ferriss Photography

On 13 minutes, the visitors managed to score again as Sale coughed up possession once more, leading to Cambridge’s Penfold putting in a cross field kick that Robbie Povey missed, allowing winger Mike Ayrton to go over in the corner unattended. With Penfold missing the extras here, Cambridge now had a lead that they wouldn’t lose even though Sale never ever gave up.

Even though the next 20 minutes saw possession change hands at regular intervals, it was Sale who went into half time very much on the up, as they created a plethora of scoring chances, which they weren’t able to convert, mainly due to some resolute defending from the visitors, but also the fact that they were able to infringe at regular intervals at the breakdown.

With five minutes to go, the infringements by Cambridge were punished as the referee gave Cambridge Flanker Ciaran Moore a yellow card for repeat offences. From this advantage Sale went to the corner giving them their third 5m line out in a row, from here Sale built a great platform leading to Prop Simon Griffiths the chance to rumble over in his final appearance for Sale FC.

Going in to the break, Sale had reduced the arrears to seven points and got the wind in their sails. At the start of the second half, Sale tried hard to make the man advantage count some more, but unforced errors lead to them coughing up possession in valuable areas, providing the visitors with further chances to extend their lead.

Tom Ailes on the run against Cambridge (c) Mark Ferriss Photography

Something that they did in the 47th minute, when the returning Moore latched on to a rolling maul set up from their own lineout throw, meaning that the visitors lead was up to 12 points, and the chance to survive the National League One relegation battle becoming more apparent.

At this time however regardless of the latest score, the visitors were going to be relegated as the closest side to them Caldy were beating the other potential relegation candidates Birmingham Moseley by ten points to seven with only 15 minutes to go in the game.

For the next 30 minutes, this game seemed to go into an almost stalemate, with neither side being able to get any real grip on a game, that was fast becoming increasingly error strewn as the weather seemed to affect both sides, even though there were opportunities available as they regularly attacked each other’s halves of the field.

However, there was one final twist yet to come, as on 76 minutes replacement Winger Sam Yawayawa was provided with an opportunity to score in the corner, giving the visitors the five points that they so desperately needed to stay in National League One, therefore relegating our Cheshire neighbours Caldy down in to National Two South from next season.

Even though the afternoon’s result didn’t go the way of Sale FC, they can be safe in the knowledge that they will be playing National League One rugby next season, especially after the pre-season predictions from the national journalists said that “Sale FC would be certain relegation candidates in their first season of National One rugby”.

To watch the highlights of Saturday’s game please follow the link here

Sale FC 31 Plymouth Albion 22

Sale FC Rugby almost certainly seal their place in National League One with a solid five point display against their Devonian visitors.

Try Scorer Neil Briggs scoring the bonus point try (c) Mark Ferriss Photography

Sale FC secured their place in National League One for a second season with a hard-fought win over Plymouth Albion at the CorpAcq Stadium on Saturday.

Both teams found difficulty in establishing a rhythm in the opening minutes, Sale scoring first on 12 minutes following a break by winger Paolo Odogwu whose powerful run was halted by a somewhat cynical high tackle by Plymouth full back Dan Powell.

The resulting penalty was skillfully dispatched into touch close to the corner flag by fly half Emiliano Calle Rivas and from the resulting line out, Sale drove to the line, Stone Priestley – Nangle scoring the opening try.

Within 2 minutes Plymouth full back Dan Powell found space to run clear and level the scores. Sale quickly re-established a slender lead with a Calle Rivas penalty on 15 minutes.

The two sides effectively cancelled each other out during the next period of play until Plymouth gained the advantage following a sustained attack which culminated in the unlikely figure of prop forward James Kenny appearing in the back line and finding a large enough gap in the Sale defence to slip through and score.

The try was converted by fly half Connor Eastgate.

Having edged ahead, the visitors were unable to retain the lead for long as Sale winger Odogwu created space for himself to break clear and sprint 70 metres to score under the posts. Calle Rivas added the extra points.

With just one minute to play before half time, Plymouth regained the lead with a try by Eastgate to give the away team a slender 17 points to 15 lead going into the second half.

A Calle Rivas penalty restored Sales lead which was extended when Robbie Povey scored with a penetrating break from 25 metres.

Robbie Povey going over for his try after bursting through the Plymouth defence (c) Mark Ferriss Photography

What might have been a pivotal moment came minutes later when Sale prop Dan Birchall was shown a red card having been adjudged to have stamped on an opponent.

The incident seemed to galvanise the home side who defended with tremendous spirit and then broke to within 5 metres of the Plymouth line.

Sale captain Andy Hughes disrupted the away team’s lineout throw, hooker Neil Briggs on hand to scoop up the ball and score giving Sale’s 14 men an 11-point cushion.

Plymouth substitute Frank Kelly reduced the deficit with a try after some slick handling by Plymouth. As the match entered the closing 10 minutes, numerical parity was established as Plymouth replacement Will Norton was shown a yellow card.

Povey was successful with his penalty kick leaving Plymouth with a 9-point gap to close.

Sale stuck manfully to their task showing tremendous spirit to close out the game and securing a bonus point win to guarantee League One rugby next season.

Sale FC celebrate Neil Briggs’ bonus point try (c) Mark Ferriss Photography

To watch the highlights from the game please use the link here

Sale hit fifth gear against Chinnor.

Sale FC Rugby secured a five point victory over the visitors Chinnor Rugby in a fine display at the CorpAcq Stadium.

Sale’s Jack Moorhouse gets to grips with Chinnor’s Latu Maakafi (c) Sale FC Rugby Photos 2019

Sale FC took a huge step towards safety in National League 1 with an impressive victory over mid table side Chinnor.

The opening exchanges saw a combination of resolute defending and unforced errors in equal measure, neither side being able to take advantage until, in the 17th minute, Sale prop Simon Griffiths was penalised at the ruck allowing Chinnor’s Bertie Hopkin the opportunity to kick for goal which he duly accepted.

Sale were penalised at the restart conceding possession to Chinnor. The Sale defensive effort soon reaped rewards forcing two penalties in quick succession, the latter in Kieron Wilkinson’s goal kicking range.

Captain Andy Hughes, however, chose to go for the corner, his positive approach rewarded with a try from hooker Christian Taylor, converted by Wilkinson.

Sale clearly looking to play expansive, entertaining rugby were undone when Chinnor intercepted and broke from halfway.

Despite an excellent covering tackle by Connor Docherty on leading try scorer Craig Holland, 2nd row forward Matt Postlethwaite was penalised at the ruck, an infringement which merited a yellow card.

From the resultant penalty, Chinnor mounted a driving maul, culminating in a try for Ben Thomas, converted by Hopkin. The second half restarted with a poor kick by Hopkin gifting good possession to Sale, a Wilkinson penalty quickly took Sale to the opposition 22. A well-orchestrated lineout laying the platform for winger Paolo Odogwu to threaten the try line.

Although initially halted by the Chinnor defence, superb support from the Sale forwards enabled prop Dan Birchall to drive over the line. Wilkinson added the extra points to give Sale a four point lead.

As Chinnor tried to regain the initiative, Sale defended with discipline and determination, ultimately bringing about a penalty kick which Wilkinson fired deep into the opposition half.

From the resulting lineout a break by winger Ed O’Keeffe took Sale to the try line but the ball was held up. At the scrum which followed a superb effort from the Sale pack dominated the opposition, forcing a penalty try.

Ed O’Keeffe lucks to cut back inside Chinnor’s wing Craig Holland (c) Sale FC Rugby Photos 2019

The visitors rallied with an impressive forward effort taking them close to the Sale line. From A scrum, Chinnor substitute Tom Burns broke from the base and after a series of phases the ball found Holland who scored, Hopkin converting.

Two minutes later a Wilkinson penalty restored Sale’s seven point advantage.

As the match entered the final 10 minutes, Chinnor took advantage of a mis directed Sale lineout leading to wing forward Joe Dancer with space to sprint some 50 metres to the Sale line scoring in the corner.

Hopkin didn’t add the extra points leaving Sale with a slim two point lead.

Sale rose to the challenge taking advantage of a knock on near the Chinnor 22, winning the scrum Matt Bradley fed O’Keeffe, Sale forwards in support, Postlethwaite took the ball to the line, the drive culminating with hooker Taylor scoring his second try of the match.

Wilkinson added the extras and with time ebbing away Sale closed the game out ending up winners of an entertaining match by 31 points to 22.

To watch the match highlights of the game v Chinnor Rugby please follow the link here.