Sale FC 43 Blackheath 18
A hat-trick of wins for Sale FC over Kent opposition this season and this victory will probably give the Cheshire side the most pleasure. On this day they outclassed a Blackheath team who were a pale shadow of the side that beat Rosslyn Park a fortnight earlier, with their lineout in tatters and a kicking game that lacked any direction.
Indeed, it was the latter that had them in trouble early on as Sale won the early duel, forcing Blackheath to carry over their goal-line on two occasions. The first five-metre scrum opportunity was squandered, but the second saw number-eight Jarad Williams peel off and crash over for the opening try.
Chris Johnson converted, and added a 24th minute penalty as Sale continued to dominate territory, and only a brilliant cover tackle by Leo Fielding prevented further score as Sale open-side Ted Leatherbarrow broke through a lineout.
The Club outside-centre was also on hand to finish off a lovely handling move involving Jack Daly and Josh Poole, and with Mark Cooke converting and striking a penalty, Blackheath were briefly back on level terms.
However, a catch and drive saw Sale skipper and blind-side Andy Hughes touch-down right on half-time, and with Johnson again adding the two points, the experienced fly-half struck six from seven with a fine kicking display, the hosts were back in control at 17-10.
Cooke narrowed the deficit with another three points soon after the re-start, but although Freddie Owen ruined an attacking lineout, scrum ball saw Sale loose-head Dan Birchall worked across.
However, the killer punch came on 64 minutes as, with Blackheath on the attack, ball was spilt forward into the hands of a grateful Fergus Mulchrone, the Sale full-back racing a full 90 metres to score.
Wing Jack Moorhouse was driven across from another catch and drive, Mulchrone scored his second with a neat chip over a tiring defence, and although Poole slipped across for a consolation effort late on, it did little to dampen Sale’s obvious joy at a fine win.
Next Saturday Blackheath will hope for better when they entertain Redingensian Rams at Well Hall in the first-ever meeting of the two sides.
Kick-off is at 3.00 pm, and prior to the match, Well Hall will be open early, with food and beverages available for the World Cup Quarter Finals between England and Australia (8.15 am) and Ireland and New Zealand (11.15 am).
Tries: Williams, Hughes, Birchall, Mulchrone 2, Moorhouse
Conv: Johnson 5
Tries: Fielding, Poole
Pens: Cooke 2
|12||.||Markus Burcham (Capt)|