Sale defy league position to defeat high-flying Albion
Sale and Plymouth entered the game at Heywood Road in contrasting form with “The Dogs” having won their last two and Albion on the back of two straight defeats.
The hosts made the perfect start with only a minute on the clock when a kick through went loose behind the whitewash, allowing Mark Dixon to pick up and score the easiest of tries; Tom Curtis converted. 7-0
The visitors were soon on the scoreboard though with a 40m penalty from full back, Tom Putt, and began to dominate both possession and territory. 7-3
Only good fortune and fine defensive work prevented Albion from adding to their initial score and it was somewhat against the run of play that Sale extended their advantage as Nathan Langdon sneaked down the blindside to dive over; Curtis added the extras. HT 14-3
The blue and whites began the second half brightly and, after a barrage of phases near the try line, the ball was flung wide for Tom Walsh to cross in the corner; Curtis landed a fine conversion. 21-3
That score only served to spur the hosts on further and the bonus point try arrived in the 59th minute when the forwards proved unstoppable from 5m, Josh Brown the beneficiary; Curtis made it 4 from 4. 28-3
A penalty from the boot of Curtis extended the lead further and, despite a late yellow card for Andy Hughes and a couple of opportunities, Albion were unable to reduce the arrears. FT 31-3
Another important win for “The Dogs” to lift them further away from the bottom of the table and give them real belief for the last third of the season.
Late late show for Sale FC against Cinderford
Both Sale and Cinderford headed into this game with a firm eye on their league positions relative to the bottom of National League One.
The visitors got off to the perfect start when centre, Jacob Shortland, cruised through a gap in the home defence with less than 3 minutes on the clock; Joe Winfield converted. 0-7
Cinderford continued to enjoy the lions share of possession in the early stages but Sale gradually worked their way into the game, only stout defence and the odd handling error preventing them from opening their account.
The hosts were unable to take advantage of a yellow card shown to Cinderford full back, Michael Wilcox for a deliberate knock on but, when Will Riley was sin-binned for Sale shortly before the break, Winfield made no mistake from the tee. HT 0-10
The ‘Dogs’ started the second period with renewed vigour and cut the deficit in the 48th minute with a try from debutant prop, Tye Raymond, who crashed over following good work from Tristan Woodman; James Robins added the extras. 7-10
After a mid-half lull, Sale surged ahead in the 62nd minute, Oskar Hirskyj-Douglas making a dent in the defence before skipper, Andy Hughes, picked up and dived over; Robins again on target. 14-10
Undaunted, the visitors applied the pressure at the other end and retook the lead in the 76th minute when hooker, Nathan Taylor, dived over from the back of a rolling maul. 14-15
Defeat looked inevitable, but Sale went into all-out attack mode and somehow kept the ball alive deep in Cinderford territory for Andy Hughes to make it through a stacked defence to score his second and, ultimately, the match winning try; Tom Parkin put the icing on the cake with the conversion. FT 21-15
A game that could have gone either way but Sale take the spoils to move out of the bottom 3 at the expense of the visitors.