Ahead of the game against Huddersfield this Saturday, we’ve posted the highlights of our 36-24 win against Blaydon Rugby Club.
Final Game at home
This Saturday we play Huddersfield in our final home game of the season. This closes out a remarkable couple of years at Heywood Rd with a change in attitude both on and off the pitch. Two seasons ago we were newly promoted into National 2 North, the fourth tier of Rugby in England. The first season in National 2 was a wake up call, we had arrived at a level we were unprepared for both on and off the pitch. With relegation back to National 3 looking imminent, Jonathan Keep was appointed as Director of Rugby mid way through the season. This brought about changes on the pitch which was matched by changes in the club house.
The appointment of Jonathan and the drive behind the scenes from volunteers and management at the club created more engagement with supporters and this has seen our M&J’s section becoming more involved in the club, with family days, social events and the now legendary guard of honour. It has also seen our senior players coming down to M&J rugby, talking to the kids and getting involved with the club. This season also saw the introduction of Tricky The Mutt as a club mascot who has been a popular addition for the children, sponsors and the “grown ups” at the club.
The Suite @Sale was also developed to enable us to improve our offering to members and the public. This was a major project taken to create a first class match day experience, as well as to create a 7 day a week club, where the local community and businesses can take advantage of a brilliant facility in the heart of Trafford.
A Season in Perspective
This season has also seen us perform on the pitch to a level Sale FC hasn’t been at since the 1990’s, with a remarkable stretch of 20 wins in a row. We last lost a league game at Heywood Road in December 2016. We have conceded just 320 points this season (only Hinckley are anywhere near that with 493) and our Points Difference is an astonishing 586, (the nearest team is Tynedale on 342).
We have lost just two games but still we need to shake off Sedgley Park who have put up some remarkable stats themselves, where although they have lost 6 games they have managed 28 bonus points in 28 games! We have one game in hand on Sedgley who lie behind us by 1 point in the league.
However, the last two weekends we have faced some stern challenges from Chester, nearly ruining our home record and Blaydon languishing near relegation leading us with 11 minutes to go until the ever reliable Dan Birchall managed to score a try to level it. We know that the remaining fixtures will be tough, everyone wants to topple the league leaders.
This season we also saw the birth of the hashtag #onesalefc. If you use social media, most of our posts will have this attached to it, the purpose is to demonstrate we are not a team but a club. We are striving to be the best club in the North of England, but this doesn’t just happen on the pitch.
For this reason, the Executive, the Players and all the Coaching staff would like to thank the Minis and Juniors section for driving this philosophy, being the 16th man on the pitch and generally making a racket at every home game. Your support never goes unnoticed, your enthusiasm is infectious and you are the future of this ancient club. #onesalefc
Sale FC Stay Top
Trailing 17-5 at half time, Sale FC left it late to get five points.
It took Sale FC until the 70th minute to take the lead from Blaydon Rugby who are struggling just outside the relegation zone.
A brace of tries for Tom Ailes, yet another try from Dan Birchall (surely the most prolific try scoring prop in the league), one for ex M&J John Blanchard jr and a welcome return to the scoresheet for Matt ‘Simmo’ Simpson. Coupled with more points off the boot of Chris Johnson, Sale FC still top the league with a one point lead over Sedgley Park. Sedgley again picked up 5 points with a huge display against Leicester Lions winning 50-29.
Assuming that Sedgley pick up five points in each of their last two games, Sale FC will need 9 in their last three games to ensure automatic promotion to the third tier of rugby. With a home game against a strong Huddersfield team this weekend, then a trip to Leicester Lions who are always an awkward team to play, we then visit Luctonians in our re-sceduled match in May. Luctonians have had a resurgence of form as they fight for survival in National 2 North.
Full match report here
Walk Jerry Walk!
Jerry Carroll or “Our Jerry” as he is fondly known down at Sale Rugby is the gentleman in question.
In a game of two halves, Chester played the game as if they were on their way to the title and truth be told, if they played that way all season, that may have been the case. Sale pulled off a dramatic victory with a 30-28 win at Heywood Road to maintain their position at the top of the tree by a one point margin over Sedgley Park (with a game in hand).
Chester came out all guns blazing and in a game where they picked up a try bonus point as well as a losing bonus point, it was only the boot of Chris Johnson that kept us ticking over. For the first time this season, a team put four tries past the stingy defence that we’ve become so used to, as well as scoring more points against us than any other team this season.
However, the big difference this season to past seasons, is the boys never looked panicked, never looked beaten and as the pressure mounted, they chased everything and fought for every inch of ground mounting a huge defensive effort and living up to their nickname “The Dogs”.
A full write up and video highlights will be up mid-week.
Tomorrow the boys KO at 3pm to try and get vital points towards promotion and hopefully to keep our unbeaten streak at Heywood Road. The last game we lost at Heywood Road in the league was to Caldy in December 2016! Let’s keep the streak going!
Jack is Back
Jack Moorhouse will be down on the day where you can see if he can improve on his try tally for Sale FC.
Just to catch up, although he’s played 200 games for Sale FC, he passed the 100 try mark in October 2016. See his post match interview here
Home Support Counts
Time and again the players mention how important it is to have the kids creating a guard of honour, how they love playing toward the club house and the boost it gives them.
Director of Rugby Jonathan Keep Says
The noise of the crowd and the guard of honour give the boys a huge lift when they play at home. The atmosphere at Heywood road has built game on game and we want to thank the supporters, especially the minis and juniors who’ve been a huge part of that positive experience