Author: Gareth Daniel

Lions roar to quell Dogs bark

Leicester Lions ensure survival with hard fought victory at Sale

The final throws of the 2023/24 season saw Sale take on Leicester Lions at Heywood Road, with the visitors looking for a victory to ensure their survival in National One.

Leicester were in front in next to no time when fly half, Daniel Lewis, slotted a straightforward penalty from directly in front of the posts and he repeated the feat in the 18th minute to extend the lead. 0-6

Sale were seeing plenty of the ball but couldn’t make pressure count and the visitors went further in front when a quick counter attack saw full back, Joe Patrick, win a race for the ball and touch down; Lewis was on target again with the extras. 0-13

The Dogs finally got the scoreboard ticking when the stole a lineout and went through several phases before centre, Connor Doherty, bullied his way over the whitewash; James Robins converted. HT 7-13

The second half started with both sides having periods of territory but Sale got their noses in front in the 50th minute as a fine move ended with Doherty looping a long pass for winger, Tom Walsh, to scamper in; Robins made no mistake with the two. 14-13

With time ebbing away, the Lions galvanised themselves for one final push and re-took the lead with a 35m penalty from centre, Luke Bouchier. 14-16

Their safety was guaranteed when they moved the ball at pace in the 76th minute for Patrick to grab his second of the game, converted by Bouchier. FT 14-23

Not to be for the Dogs on the final day, but a chance for the players and coaches to get some well deserved rest now and come back fighting again when the new season starts in September.

Sale suffer late check mate at the hands of Bishops

Two points turns to one as Sale suffer late defeat

Sale headed to Hertfordshire for their final away game of the 2023/24 season to take on relegation-threatened Bishops Stortford.

Playing in their change strip of all black, Sale started the game well and were soon in front when Cal Ford made a half-break before offloading perfectly for fellow prop, Ben Carlile, to cross the whitewash; James Robins made no mistake from the tee. 0-7

With the ref allowing play to flow, both sides looked to attack with the ball in hand and Sale extended their lead in the 32nd minute when Dan Leake made valuable yards to set up full debutant, Will Hitchen, for his first ever 1st XV try. HT 0-12

Having lost Nick Gray to a yellow card just before the break, the hosts made the most of their numerical advantage early in the second half as they levelled the scores with tries from Alex Rayment and James Ayrton. 12-12

Undaunted, the Dogs came again and re-took the lead in the 60th minute when, following a tap penalty, Will Riley crashed over the line; James Robins was on target again.12-19

Back came the home side to level matters just a few minutes later with a strong driving maul, the try converted by Tom Walker. 19-19

Both sides have opportunities and field positions to win the game but, with time in the red, the hosts were awarded a penalty 25m out and Tom Walker was adjudged to have kicked it {some doubt, even from home supporters!). FT 22-19

A much better performance from the Dogs but only a solitary point to show for it. All eyes now turn to the final game of the season on the 27th April when we take on Leicester Lions.

Sale fall to defeat but secure National One status

Titans topple Sale but Dogs survive

Both Sale and Taunton headed into this late season game searching for points in their bids to ensure their survival in National One.

The “Dogs” started the better of the two and took the lead in the 8th minute when Tom Brady was the beneficiary of good play from Oskar Hirskyj-Douglas and Matt Bradley, diving over in the corner. 5-0

The visitors responded almost immediately through winger, Oscar Stewart, before Sale retook the lead with a try out wide from Nick Gray; James Robins adding a fine conversion. 12-5

Back came the Titans again, Samuel Prior making a superb break before Charlie Wright scythed through the massed ranks; Louis Sinclair kicked the extras. 12-12

The topsy-turvy nature of the game continued as Sale’s Fergus Mulchrone bullied his way over the whitewash, only for Ratu Vakalutukali to level matters and Sinclair to put the visitors in front for the first time. 17-19

Crucially, with half-time approaching, the Titans extended their advantage as Wright grabbed his second and Sinclair made it 3 kicks from 4. HT 17-26

Sale looked to have snatched the momentum back at the start of the second half as Matt Bradley bundled over from a quick tap penalty but, not for the first time, the Titans went straight up the other end and scored from a fine Vatalutukali run. 22-31

A penalty kick from Sinclair left Sale with plenty of work to do and their cause was not aided with the loss of replacement, Tristan Woodman, to a yellow card in the 66th minute.

The visitors took full advantage of the extra man with a converted try from Oliver Schuster-Wood and, despite a late try from James Robins, they held on for a deserved bonus point win. FT 27-41

The only consolation for the “Dogs” was the 4-try bonus point which secured their National One status for another season.


Sale edge thriller with Moseley to secure 5-point win

Entertainment galore at Heywood Road as Sale defeat Moseley

High-flying Birmingham Moseley headed North looking for a fifth straight league success against a Sale side whose own winning run had come to an end the previous week.

The visitors started the stronger and were soon in front when fly half, Tighe Maxwell-Whiteley, benefited from a charge down to make his way over the try line and then convert. 0-7

Moseley were looking dangerous with the ball in hand with centre, Oli Allsopp, particularly prominent, but the Dogs worked their way into the game and reduced the arrears on 20 minutes when Tom Curtis made no mistake with a penalty kick from directly in front of the posts. 3-7

Two minutes later the blue and whites took the lead as winger, Tom Brady, picked up a knock on in midfield and raced in from 40 metres; Curtis added the extras. 10-7

The situation worsened for the Midlanders in the 25th minute when prop, David Langley, was shown a yellow card, Tom Curtis making no mistake with the resulting penalty. 13-7

A few minutes later the hosts took full advantage of their numerical superiority, keeping the ball alive superbly before the returning Fergus Mulchrone offloaded for debutant, Tom Burrow, to side step the tackler and make it to the whitewash; Curtis again on target. 20-7

With half-time in sight, Moseley reduced the arrears with a well taken try from winger, Aquile Smith, after good work from Allsopp and Maxwell-Whiteley made no mistake with the conversion. HT 20-14

The away side began the second 40 in similar fashion to the first and were soon back in front when scrum half, Freddie Painter, forced his way to the line after a quick tap penalty; Maxwell-Whiteley slotted the kick. 20-21

Undaunted, back came the Dogs to retake the lead with a try from their own scrum half, Matt Bradley, who sniped down the side of a ruck to score before Curtis continued his fine afternoon from the tee. 27-21

The tit for tat nature of the scoring continued, Moseley fashioning a try from short range through the impressive Allsopp with Maxwell-Whiteley also continuing his perfect afternoon with the boot. 27-28

With just over 10 minutes to play, Curtis edged the Dogs in front with a straightforward penalty before Oskar Hirskyj-Douglas scored the try of the afternoon, dancing his way to the line after superb hands in the backs; Curtis made it 7 kicks from 7. 37-28

With time in the red, the visitors were awarded a penalty and Maxwell-Whiteley opted for the posts to secure a deserved second bonus point. FT 37-31

A terrific game of rugby between two sides who went at it hammer and tong all afternoon with the Dogs securing an impressive bonus point win.

Sale FC continue good form in bonus point win over Plymouth

Sale defy league position to defeat high-flying Albion

10th February 2024
31 - 3
Full Time

Sale defy league position to defeat high-flying Albion

Sale and Plymouth entered the game at Heywood Road in contrasting form with “The Dogs” having won their last two and Albion on the back of two straight defeats.

The hosts made the perfect start with only a minute on the clock when a kick through went loose behind the whitewash, allowing Mark Dixon to pick up and score the easiest of tries; Tom Curtis converted. 7-0

The visitors were soon on the scoreboard though with a 40m penalty from full back, Tom Putt, and began to dominate both possession and territory. 7-3

Only good fortune and fine defensive work prevented Albion from adding to their initial score and it was somewhat against the run of play that Sale extended their advantage as Nathan Langdon sneaked down the blindside to dive over; Curtis added the extras. HT 14-3

The blue and whites began the second half brightly and, after a barrage of phases near the try line, the ball was flung wide for Tom Walsh to cross in the corner; Curtis landed a fine conversion. 21-3

That score only served to spur the hosts on further and the bonus point try arrived in the 59th minute when the forwards proved unstoppable from 5m, Josh Brown the beneficiary; Curtis made it 4 from 4. 28-3

A penalty from the boot of Curtis extended the lead further and, despite a late yellow card for Andy Hughes and a couple of opportunities, Albion were unable to reduce the arrears. FT 31-3

Another important win for “The Dogs” to lift them further away from the bottom of the table and give them real belief for the last third of the season.


Sale FC440131Win
Plymouth Albion00013Loss


Date Time League Season Full Time
10th February 2024 15:00 National One 2023-2024 0'


Sale FC snatch victory from jaws of defeat

Late late show for Sale FC against Cinderford

3rd February 2024
21 - 15
Full Time

Late late show for Sale FC against Cinderford

Both Sale and Cinderford headed into this game with a firm eye on their league positions relative to the bottom of National League One.

The visitors got off to the perfect start when centre, Jacob Shortland, cruised through a gap in the home defence with less than 3 minutes on the clock; Joe Winfield converted. 0-7

Cinderford continued to enjoy the lions share of possession in the early stages but Sale gradually worked their way into the game, only stout defence and the odd handling error preventing them from opening their account.

The hosts were unable to take advantage of a yellow card shown to Cinderford full back, Michael Wilcox for a deliberate knock on but, when Will Riley was sin-binned for Sale shortly before the break, Winfield made no mistake from the tee. HT 0-10

The ‘Dogs’ started the second period with renewed vigour and cut the deficit in the 48th minute with a try from debutant prop, Tye Raymond, who crashed over following good work from Tristan Woodman; James Robins added the extras. 7-10

After a mid-half lull, Sale surged ahead in the 62nd minute, Oskar Hirskyj-Douglas making a dent in the defence before skipper, Andy Hughes, picked up and dived over; Robins again on target. 14-10

Undaunted, the visitors applied the pressure at the other end and retook the lead in the 76th minute when hooker, Nathan Taylor, dived over from the back of a rolling maul. 14-15

Defeat looked inevitable, but Sale went into all-out attack mode and somehow kept the ball alive deep in Cinderford territory for Andy Hughes to make it through a stacked defence to score his second and, ultimately, the match winning try; Tom Parkin put the icing on the cake with the conversion. FT 21-15

A game that could have gone either way but Sale take the spoils to move out of the bottom 3 at the expense of the visitors.


Sale FC330021Win


Date Time League Season Full Time
3rd February 2024 15:00 National One 2023-2024 0'