Sale FC travelled to Old Bath Road on a cold but dry afternoon to take on the league leaders, Rams., who had earned an impressive maximum 55 points from their first 11 games.
The hosts started the game in the ascendency but the blue and whites took the lead against the run of play when Ricky Ma’asi-White made good ground before the ball was lofted wide for Tom Walsh to score in the corner. 0-5
The Berkshire side responded with a try of their own ten minutes later when Ant Marris crashed over from close range and Will Partington converted. 7-5
The dogs took the lead again in the 32nd minute when, after a prolonged spell of pressure from the forwards, the ball was moved into the hands of Tom Curtis who cut through a gap and stretched for the line, adding the conversion. 7-12
Back came the Rams as they pummelled the try line before Marris squeezed over for his second of the game and Partington added the extras. HT 14-12
Sale came out for the second 40 with a renewed sense of purpose and went back in front in the 48th minute when the catch and drive from a 5m lineout drove purposefully to the line with Oli Longmore touching down. 14-17
The topsy-turvy nature of the game continued as the hosts had a sustained period on our 5m line and after several reset scrums, which saw Tumy Onasanya shown a yellow card, a cross-kick was collected by Jack Rossiter to score. 19-17
The dogs retook the lead with a long distance penalty from Tom Curtis but couldn’t quite survive the time with 14-men as a catch and drive proved unstoppable. 24-20
With the game heading to its conclusion, the boys kept their composure to kick to touch, win the lineout and surge to the whitewash again with Oli Longmore scoring the crucial try and Tom Curtis converting. 24-27
With time in the red, the hosts were awarded a penalty on halfway but the penalty kick from Partington drifted wide to give the dogs a huge win FT 24-27
A terrific game between two top sides that could have gone either way, but the boys show tremendous character to take the full 5 points.