12-man Sale FC claim incredible win

Sale FC travelled to Hertfordshire to take on a Bishops Stortford side who had won their previous 4 matches in National League 1.

The game was preceded by an impeccably observed minutes silence for Remembrance and, when the action got underway, it was clear that both sides had come to play.

The boys, in their fabulous black change strip, struck first in the 10th minute when Nev Edwards received a pass 30m out and preceded to jink through a bewildered defence to score in the corner. 0-5

The lead lasted only 5 minutes as the hosts went through several phases near our line and eventually broke the dam through scrum half, Connor Lloyd. 7-5

Sale were undeterred and bounced back almost immediately as Kieran Wilkinson danced through the defensive line and showed a clean pair of heals to dot down under the posts before adding the conversion. 7-12 

Play swung from end to end for a while but the last 15 minutes saw a period of domination for the dogs, earning penalty after penalty at the scrum. An inevitable yellow card for the home side followed and, following a kick to the corner, we won the 5m lineout and mauled to the line with Huw Davies diving over; Kieran Wilkinson added the extras HT 7-17

Bishops Stortford made a flying start to the second 40, moving the ball well from inside their own half to score a fine try and reduce the arrears. 14-17

The boys regrouped again and, after a period of pressure, increased their lead with a well-worked try, Kieran Wilkinson putting a chip kick over the defence for Nev Edwards to collect and score his second try of the game 14-22

The game took another twist in the 52nd minute as the hosts scored their third try through full-back, Dan Powell and, 3 minutes later, they were level through a Connor Lloyd penalty 22-22

The response from the dogs was to take the lead again in the 68th minute, driving to the line from a 5m lineout and Oli Longmore diving over; Kieran Wilkinson on target with the conversion 22-29

The match was set up for a grandstand finish and we certainly got it with the home side camped on our line for what seemed like an age. With time in the red we were shown, not one, not two, but three yellow cards and it seemed inevitable that Stortford would score to level the game.

Unbelievably, the remaining 12 players put the shift of their lives in and we managed to turn the ball over and kick out of play to secure the five point win. FT 22-29

An epic finale to a superb game of rugby against a very good Bishops Stortford side.