Sale FC 2 vs Fylde 2


Sale FC Rugby 2nd Team 17 Fylde Hawks 32

In their opening fixture of the season in the Cotton Traders Premier League, it was the turn of Sale FC to host the visitors Fylde Hawks here at Heywood Road. The game kicked off, and suddenly Sale were in the ascendency taking the game to an experienced Fylde side.

As the first 10 minutes unfolded, it was Sale who had the upper hand with them running the ball at the Hawks and creating the first couple of chances. Further with this early upper hand, there was dominance from the Sale scrum meaning that Fylde gave away several penalties allowing Sale to push them further up the field.

However, at the same time Sale were gaining penalties they seemed to give up the odd one or two in the meantime. With these penalties being given away, they led to Fylde going into the lead thank you in the main to their left winger dancing down the Sale left and evading a last-ditch tackle by Felix Egan to score in the corner, conversion missed. Sale 0 Fylde 5

After the first Fylde score they were looking to double their lead over Sale with some flowing movements from the kick off meant that Fylde could throw the ball wide along their back making their way up the field once more, thankfully this attack came to nothing as they knocked on twice, giving Sale the scrum.

From the resulting scrum, Sale went on the run like a herd of wildebeest with hooker Joe Kelly rampaging towards the line ably assisted by Witness Mandizha and the John Blanchard Senior and Junior, from the resulting charge Joe Kelly offloaded to Matt Simpson, who scythed through the resilient Fylde defence to score under the posts. Try converted – Sale 7 Fylde 5

At this point in the game, Sale seemed to turn a corner, with some great work from Sale’s winger Felix Egan in his own half, led to Sale making their way beyond the half way line before a deft chip narrowly avoided his grasp, which would had given the youngster a wonderful solo try.

His work (Felix Egan) and that of today’s hooker Joe Kelly, who for the record had a great game meant Sale were giving their all to the cause pushing Fylde back to their own line, with the help of penalties for minor indiscretions at the scrum. From the resulting 5 minutes of reset scrums the referee lost patience and on the 5thscrum gave the Sale pack a Penalty Try for their efforts. Sale 14 Fylde 5.

At the restart, Sale knocked on. Fortunately for Sale, Fylde don’t gain any advantage and they have a set scrum on our 10 metre line. We give away a free-kick for an alleged early push at the scrum, this added to a penalty plus 10 more metres for dissent and Fylde get over the line in the corner once more, with half time fast approaching the kick is missed by the excellent Fylde 10.

The half time score is Sale 14 Fylde Hawks 10.

After the turn around Sale once more go forward creating several chances for them to capitalise on, meaning that Matt Simpson could put Fylde back towards their own half.  What Sale didn’t do well was retain possession, with them turning over possession with ease. Thankfully when you have Witness Mandizha in your team, if they run at him you are going to get chopped down as the Fylde Hawks players found out on numerous occasions.

Unfortunately, even though the hits were flying in from players around the field, the loss of possession added to the referee seemingly changing tact too, pushing Sale back for a few small misdemeanours around the field.  This change in the game’s flow rewarded Fylde with a third try from the next lineout, thankfully the kick was missed. Sale 14 Fylde 15.

Once more, the lead changed hands with Sale scoring a penalty through the inspirational Matt Simpson. Sale 17 Fylde 15. From the result passages of play you would have thought that at least one player would have visited the bin, firstly after Matt Simpson was high tackled and then Joe Horsfall and Lewis Winterbottom were on the receiving end of some questionable decisions that meant Fylde could once again take the lead through their number 10, who calmly slotted the penalty he was awarded for their tackling errors. Sale 17 Fylde 18

With a little under 25 minutes left, you would have thought that both sides had emptied their tanks fully, partly due to the heat, but also the intensity of the game, being so high from two very evenly matched teams.  What followed took the wind out of the Sale players, with them conceding again after some intricate moves from Fylde adding another try after a lineout that was temporarily halted by some purposeful Sale defence, that was broken by the Hawks winger’s persistence. Conversion added Sale 17 Fylde 25.

From here on, Sale look to take the game back to Fylde through Matt Simpson, Felix Egan, Joe Horsfall, Jarrod Townson and Alex Davidson, with all this commitment from the now exhausted Sale team, it was several errors that led to us turning over hard-earned possession, meaning that Fylde scored for the final time with a well worked try. Try converted Sale 17 Fylde Hawks 32

At the final whistle, the Sale players had given it there all and showed how good a side they can be on the day. Hopefully, this will be the start of a great season for this side, and even though the result didn’t go their way, there were many positives for Sale to take from the fixture and we look forward to heading to Fylde in their return fixture.

Speaking post-match to Sale number 10 Matt Simpson he said “For 60 minutes we (Sale FC) put in plenty of effort and showed a great deal of togetherness with a blend of colts and senior Sale players making up today’s side. Unfortunately, though we didn’t always get passed third phase which prevented us from keeping the scoreboard ticking over.  Nevertheless, Sale showed great promise which was only curtailed by the loss of Sam (Stelmazsek) to a high shot, Jayden Gunn (with a foot injury) and Lewis Winterbottom with a shoulder strain, the result could have been different”.

Next up for Sale FC is an away trip to Hare Hills Lane to play Chester next Saturday afternoon.


Date Time League Season
1st September 2018 15:00 Cotton Traders Premier League 2018-2019


Sale FC 21530317
Fylde 22560332



Sale FC Rugby
Sale Rugby Club, Heywood Rd, Sale M33 3WB, UK