Fifth time lucky for Sale FC as they beat Blackheath

Dogs dig deep to claim first win of the season

Two of the oldest clubs in the world came together at the CorpAcq Stadium with Sale FC looking to claim a first victory of the season against Blackheath, who had bounced back to National One at the first attempt last season.

The match started in wet conditions with ball handling challenging and the first meaningful action of the game saw Blackheath full back, Tom Ffitch, shown a yellow card for a deliberate knock on in the 8th minute.

The hosts were unable to take advantage of the extra man but got their noses in front in the 20th minute. Fergus Mulchrone showed enviable football skills to force the visitors to touch down behind their own line and, from the resulting 5m scrum, the ball was moved wide at pace for Tom Walsh to scamper in. 5-0

Blackheath fought their way back into the game and only solid defence from “The Dogs” prevented “Club” from crossing the whitewash. However, penalties in the 30th and 39th minutes from Tom Ffitch and another in between from Matt Dalrymple saw the black and reds go in with a lead at the interval. HT 5-9

The away side started the second period firmly on the front foot but, try as they might, they could not breach the swarming Sale defence. It took a fine recovery tackle from winger, Tom Walsh, though to haul down fellow winger, Jake Lloyd.

With the rain persisting, Sale eventually retook the lead in the 59th minute when a rumbling maul was stopped short of the line, only for prop, Riki Stout to pick up and crash over; James Robins added the extras. 12-9

Scrum half, Matt Bradley, making his 150th appearance for the club, entered the fray to a standing ovation, but it took only four minutes for the visitors to respond as centre, Leo Fielding, evaded would be tacklers to dive over. 12-14

In the 72nd minute, Sale were back in front, Tom Brady wriggling out of a tackle on the 22 and then offloading for Nev Edwards to somehow hold off tacklers and slide over the try line; James Robins again on target with the conversion. 19-14

Blackheath had opportunities in the dying embers but “The Dogs” held out for a first win of the season. FT 19-14