Sale FC were off to a flying start courtesy of a Kieron Wilkinson converted try in the opening minute of this National League 1 fixture against Birmingham Moseley at the CorpAcq Stadium, quickly followed by a penalty on 4 minutes which Wilkinson slotted home from distance giving the home side a 10 points to nil lead.
The visitors narrowed the gap with a penalty scored just a minute later.
With Sale’s Spanish international fly half, Emiliano Calle Rivas, on his home debut, orchestrating play, Sale were soon on the scoresheet again when, following a well-controlled lineout, the ball was quickly moved through the backs to winger Anthony Bingham who finished the move with a try.
With Sale controlling the game, Birmingham conceded a series of penalties, culminating in their captain Sam Brown receiving a yellow card as Sale tried to take a quick penalty.
Matt Bradley scored Sale’s third try moments later, following another well drilled catch and drive by the Sale pack.
After 20 minutes, Sale had opened up a 17 point lead; however a counter attack by Birmingham following a break by Sale’s Calle Rivas drew a penalty on the Sale 22 line for which Matt Bradley received a yellow card.
Birmingham were able to capitalise on the opportunity, hooker Ryan Roach scoring and Williams converting. Another penalty, kicked by Williams reduced the deficit, the score at half time Sale FC 20 Birmingham Moseley 13. Within a minute of the restart, Sale conceded a penalty which Birmingham’s Williams duly despatched.
Birmingham took the lead on 55 minutes when winger Alex Hearle latched on to a kick deep in Sale territory, and outpaced the covering defenders to score, Williams adding the extra points.
Sale were quick to regain the advantage from a scrum on the opposition 5 metre line, number 8 Tom Ailes picking up from the base and driving over the line despite close attention from the opposition defence.
In the final quarter, Sale extended their lead with a try from Neil Briggs, converted by Wilkinson. The visitors responded with a try on 70 minutes from winger Roach, Williams quickly drop kicking the extra points to hurry the match along.
In the final 10 minutes both teams dug deep into their energy reserves, Sale regularly finding Johnny Leota to take on the opposition defence.Pressure eventually told as a penalty awarded to Sale gave Calle Rivas the opportunity to find touch deep in the opponent’s half.
A textbook catch and drive had Sale putting the Birmingham defence under severe pressure before a quick release along the backs arrived in the safe hands of Anthony Bingham on the wing with one man to beat, and 15 metres to run. Mission accomplished!
Kieron Wilkinson narrowly missed the conversion from a tight angle leaving Sale to run down the last few minutes and secure a vital 5 points from this hard fought encounter.
Final Score Sale FC 37 – Birmingham Moseley 30
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