Sale hold their nerve to stay top

The league leaders headed to the Yorkshire Dales on Saturday to play a Wharfedale side narrowly outside the drop zone.

Spurred on by a vocal home crowd, the home side started well, dominating both possession and territory, but Sale survived the early onslaught and gradually found a foothold in the game.

Scrum half, Matt Bradley, seem destined to score the first points of the match, as he followed his own cute grubber kick behind the defence, only to be pulled back by the opposing number 5 who was duly shown a yellow card.

However, the visitors did not have to wait long as, from the resulting lineout, the forwards made an assault on the Yorkshiremen’s try line with centre, Jack Moorhouse, eventually plunging over and Chris Johnson adding the extras.

The remainder of the first half was dominated by the referee’s whistle and a couple of fairly minor scuffles, the last of which saw Gareth Rawlings and Wharfedale’s number 8 leave the field for 10 minutes contemplation time.

HT Wharfedale 0 Sale 7

Playing up the slope in the 2nd half, Sale came out aggressively and were soon awarded a penalty which Chris Johnson stroked over, although the Yorkshiremen were still very much in the game and quickly responded with a penalty of their own.

The decisive moment of the match came via a piece of individual brilliance from winger, Jonty Rawcliffe, who collected an up and under on the half way line, before out-sprinting several opposing players to dive over in the corner. Chris Johnson then added a superb conversion, fist-pumping his way back to the halfway line, much to the ire of the home fans.

Following further successful penalty kicks by both fly halves, Sale’s ambitions of a bonus point win were to be severely hampered as replacement prop, Jon Blanchard, was shown a red card for an apparent head-butt.

However, the dogged defence that has served them so well all season ensured that they saw out the remaining 10 minutes, extending their winning run to a mightily impressive 17 games.

FT Wharfedale 6 Sale 20

With no game the previous week and second placed Sedgley Park securing two bonus point wins, the gap at the top of the table is down to just 2 points, albeit Sale do have an all-important game in hand.

Highlights Video

Jonty and Jake Catch Up with Sale FC Rugby TV


Date Time League Season
24/03/2018 2:15 pm National 2 North 2017-2018


5 Wharfeside Ave, Skipton, North Yorkshire BD23 5BS, UK


Sale FC220220Win


Position T C P DG

Sale FC

Player Position T C P DG
Dan BirchallLoosehead Prop0000
Neil BriggsHooker0000
Joseph Kelly Prop0000
William DaviesLock0000
Gaz RawlingsForwards0000
Adam Aigbokhae -0000
Jake Barron-0000
Tom Ailes-0000
Matthew Bradley-0000
Chris JohnsonCentre0220
Sam StelmaszekWing0000
Jack Moorhouse-1000
Chris MayorCentre0000
Jonty Rawcliffe-1000
Mark Lawrence -0000
Andrew Hughes -0000
Matthew Simpson Full-back0000
Matt Sturgess-0000
Christian Taylor-0000
John Blanchard Jr -0000
Total 2220