14-man Sale take Bishops

Sale weather the storm to earn vital win

Sale took on Bishops Stortford at the CorpAcq Stadium in their final home game before Christmas with both sides looking to kick on having won their previous two league games.

The opening exchanges were interrupted by several piercing shrills from the referees whistle, mainly in favour of the visitors, but momentum was at a premium for either side.

The most notable moment of the first 20 minutes was a yellow card for Sale full-back, Fergus Mulchrone, after an argy bargy involving almost everyone on the field.

With conditions worsening by the minute, Stortford enjoyed the better of the territory but couldn’t find a way through the Dogs resolute defence. With time in the red, the hosts took the lead with a penalty from James Robins. HT 3-0

The second half started in familiar fashion with mistakes from both sides in the greasy conditions, but the game took a potentially crucial turn in the 58th minute when Sale’s Jake Barron was shown a straight red card as a flailing arm connected with an opposing players face.

With the rain now monsoon-like, the blue and whites dug in and took the lead on 69 minutes when the ball was moved wide, Tom Parkin releasing Mark Dixon to barge over. 8-0

The visitors were undaunted and reduced the arrears almost straightaway with a try from captain, James Ayrton, which was converted by fly half, Matt Riddington. 8-7

The remaining minutes were a test of metal for the blue and whites but, buoyed by a vocal home support, they survived to claim a vital win and take themselves to just a point from being out of the relegation places. FT 8-7