- Written By Bob Smith
- Photographs Dave Hulme
Sale FC played their opening home game of the National League 1 season against Wirral based Caldy RFC on a gloomy day against a backdrop of persistent rain.
Caldy scrum half Ben Jones failed to clear 10 metres with his kick off resulting in a Sale scrum on halfway.
Excellent scrummage control saw flanker Stone Priestley-Nangle break from the base, feeding scrum half Matt Bradley whose weaving run probed deep into the Caldy half.
The break was halted , Sale penalised, allowing Caldy to relieve the pressure. The ensuing kick from Caldy’s Rhys Hayes found touch in the Sale half .From the line out, Sale hooker Neil Briggs regain possession allowing Sale 10, Chris Johnson to clear into the Caldy half.
Caldy ran the ball back towards the Sale 22m, again, Sale defended resolutely. Centre Mark Lawrence broke, feeding fellow centre Johnny Leota resulting in a penalty to Sale, the Caldy defence off their feet after the tackle.
Chris Johnson found touch; Sale continued attacking from the lineout, applying pressure leading to Caldy conceding a penalty, converted by Johnson on 7 minutes.
Sale 3 .. Caldy 0
Following the restart, Caldy were awarded a penalty, Sale is deemed to have collapsed the scrum. Caldy fly half Rhys Hayes found touch on the Sale 22m , leading to the award of another Caldy penalty, Jones converting.
Sale 3 .. Caldy 3
On 16 minutes, another Sale penalty, Sale opting for a lineout 5 metres from the Caldy line. Accurately thrown by Briggs giving his forwards position to drive at the Caldy defence, causing a deliberate collapse of the maul.
Penalty try awarded.
Sale 10 ..Caldy 3
Taking into account the persistent rain and greasy conditions, both sides are committing few handling errors and contributing to an open and absorbing match, Sale justifiably taking a 7 point lead on 20 minutes.
Within a minute, a Jones penalty attempt for Caldy from 49 metres Caldy’s Jones which falls short of the Sale posts.
Continued pressure from Caldy resulted in another penalty attempt by Jones ,on this occasion, successful.
Sale 10.. Caldy 6
Caldy continued to press , Sale defending stubbornly but finally conceding a penalty in front of the posts , Jones dispatching efficiently .
Sale 10.. Caldy9
Following the restart Sale regain possession from a lineout , Johnson released Jonny Leota to break into the Caldy half only for the pass to be adjudged forward.
With the first half drawing to a close , a break from winger Aaron Reed took him deep into the Caldy half, supported by full back Rawlinson who scored, awarded after some deliberation between the officials.
Try converted by Johnson.
Sale 17.. Caldy 9
From the restart, Caldy applied pressure on the Sale defence generating 2 penalties in as many minutes.
Caldy continued to take the game to Sale creating a break close to the far touchline , when Arron Reed is adjudged to have deliberately knocked on, attempting an interception.
Yellow card and a consequential 10 minutes in the sin bin !
From the resulting penalty Caldy attack, switching the ball wide, leading to a try for winger Nick Royle, converted by Jones
Sale 17 .. Caldy 16
The 14 men of Sale continued to press in the Caldy half forcing a penalty award , following which Caldy’s Royle received a Yellow card .
Johnson calmly struck the ball between the posts to make the score
Sale 20.. Caldy 16.
The game continued to ebb and flow, both teams working hard to gain an advantage , a penalty each between the 60thand 63rdminutes took the score to
Sale FC 23 , Caldy 19
The pattern of play continuing in a similar manner as both sides strove to play attacking rugby .
On 72 minutes , a high tackle results in a penalty for Sale, kicked by Chris Johnson extending the lead.
Sale 26 .. Caldy 19
In the closing seconds , Caldy were awarded another penalty on Sales 22m line.
Opting for a scrum, the Caldy forwards were held up the Sale, but manage to work the ball wide to winger Luke Hibbard who scored by the corner flag.
The conversion attempt by Jones , from a difficult angle , was unsuccessful, Sale running out winners in a close , entertaining match .
Chris Johnson , Sale No 10 received the man of the match award .
Final Score Sale FC 26 … Caldy RFC 24
The team announcement includes some familiar names with Matt Postlethwaite returning to his old hunting ground at Heywood Road to pick up his 50th cap for Sale FC. Joe Kelly moves back from the 2’s to the 1’s this weekend to rack up his 148th cap this weekend.
Also the team would like to warmly welcome Johnny Leota and Tom Brady both of whom have signed for Sale FC Rugby this week. Despite their arrival most of you will notice that the match day 20 have 14 players who helped win us National 2 North last season. Kieran Dunne, is one of the new additions to the team this season has played plenty of rugby at Heywood Road as part of the Sale FC Rugby Senior Colts after playing his mini and junior rugby at Altrincham Kersal and St Ambrose in Hale Barns.
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|