Photos Credited to Mark Ferriss Photography
Sale FC took on Apmthill RFC in truly appalling conditions at the CorpAcq stadium with the temperature just above freezing and driving rain adding to the challenge , Sale took what little advantage could be had from winning the toss and began the first half playing with the wind behind them.
Early exchanges were evenly matched, both teams looked to keep the game tight, but unforced errors on both sides interrupted any real opportunity of a breakthrough.
On 10 minutes, with Ampthill asserting some superiority, a penalty was awarded against Sale for collapsing the scrum. The resulting kick by Ampthill centre Wilson found touch inside the Sale 22. From the lineout, a well-orchestrated catch and drive, initially held up by the Sale pack, concluded with a try for Ampthill hooker Lutui on 14 minutes.
Sale responded with a concerted effort, putting pressure on the Ampthill defence, winning a penalty and an opportunity to kick to the touchline and take the lineout 5 metres from the Ampthill line.
A solid catch and drive was resisted by the Ampthill defence who managed to hold the ball up having crossed the try line.
Sale continued to work hard to secure a try when another infringement by Ampthill was penalised on 21 minutes. This time Wilkinson went for goal and successfully added the 3 points.
Ampthill went on the attack from the restart, the Sale defence holding firm but unable to regain possession as Ampthill went through the phases, finally, the ball reached full back Foster on the Sale 22 who ran clear to score on 27 minutes. Pritchard added the extra points taking the score to Sale 3 Ampthill 12.
Again, Sale took the attack to the visitors who were quick to counter attack, taking control in the Sale half, steadily progressing towards the Sale line, culminating in good handling freeing centre Hanks to score under the posts, try converted by Pritchard extending the Ampthill lead to 3 – 19.
After some early pressure at the start of the 2ndhalf Sale began to take the initiative with Parkinson, Odogwu and Briggs all taking the attack to the visitors, finally being rewarded with a try from Griffiths on 50 minutes following relentless pressure from Sale. Wilkinson converted the try.
In spite of the worsening conditions , both teams gave every ounce of effort , effectively cancelling each other out until on 66 minutes an Ampthill penalty placed the on the Sale 5 metre line from which they were able to maul ,sucking in the Sale defence then freeing up fullback Foster to score his second try , converted by Pritchard. Sale 10 Ampthill 24.
Still willing to get back in the match, Sale again took the game to the visitors whose robust defence stood firm, winning a penalty on 72 minutes which Pritchard converted.
There were no more serious scoring attempts, Ampthill ran out winners but both teams deserved credit for the skill and effort they displayed in the most miserable weather!
This weekend sees the welcome return of Simon Griffiths after an injury layoff. He’s joined by Kieran Wilkinson, Nic Dolly and Paolo Odogwu who return from the beauty of Bordeaux to the delight of the CorpAcq stadium in December.
The visiting team are playing well, winning and picking up points. Ampthill and District currently sit fifth in the league and they’ll be looking to recreate their fine form at Sale FC Rugby.
Past Players and President Lunch
This game will feature our Past Players gathering in the Suite @Sale to watch the game against Ampthill where we welcome back Paul Turner, the coach of Ampthill and a former player at Sale FC Rugby. Meals will be only £10 and consist of a “pie and pint” offering. This event will be sold out pretty quickly so it is important to book early. 120 seats have been reserved for past players therefore only 50 seats will be available to the general public.
Admission to the game
- Members Free
- £10 Adult
- £8 Sale Sharks Season Ticket Holders
- £8 Concessions (over 65) and Students (with Student ID)
- Free Under 16’s
|Sale FC Rugby|
|Sale Rugby Club, Heywood Rd, Sale M33 3WB, UK|