Sale FC 19 Blackheath 14

Disappointment and frustration for Blackheath as they suffered a second defeat in their National League One campaign, and their first away from home.

Sale FC, on the other hand, were delighted as, after four straight defeats, they finally came out on the right side of a narrow scoreline, the Cheshire side, after a ragged first period, mastering the conditions better to finish the stronger and secure a first win.

As the persistent and, sometimes, heavy rain fell on Heywood Road, it was the hosts who got on the front foot first, and as Tom Ffitch was binned for a deliberate knock-on, Sale used the extra man to create space wide on the left for wing Tom Walsh to go over for the opening score.

Returned to full strength, however, Blackheath began to exert the pressure, forcing numerous penalties from the hosts, Ffitch converting two, and sandwiching a 45-metre strike from Matt Dalrymple, for the Club to lead 9-5 at the break.

Mistakes at the restart put Blackheath straight back on the offensive, but neither a five-metre lineout or scrum, nor a Jake Lloyd interception, accrued points for the visitors.

Instead, it was a close-range lineout for Sale on 58 minutes which yielded the next score, prop Ricky Stout driving across after a couple of phases, and fly-half James Robins adding the conversion to put the Cheshire club 12-9 ahead.

Blackheath struck back quickly.

Ffitch brilliantly collected his own high ball, and although the move began to falter, Jake Hennessey mopped up, the wing switching play from left to right and, this time, the Club found the penetration as Leo Fielding stormed across.

However, Sale had tidied up their earlier indiscipline, and their improved control of the game saw full-back Tom Brady squirm through the cover to release right-wing Nev Edwards for a converted score, a late Blackheath onslaught failing to reap any dividend for the visitors.

Blackheath return to The Utilita to face Cinderford next Saturday. Kick-off is at the earlier time of 2.30 pm due to the England v Samoa World cup match at 4.45 pm.

Sale FC

Tries: Walsh 19, Stout 58, Edwards 71
Conv: Robins 58, 71


Tries: Fielding 63
Pens: Ffitch 29, 37, Dalrymple 33

Attendance: 500

Blackheath Team

15 . Tom Ffitch
14 . Jake Lloyd
13 . Leo Fielding
12 . Markus Burcham
11 . Jake Hennessey
10 . Matt Dalrymple
9 . Jack Daly

1 . Will Davis
2 . Ollie Walliker
3 . Jack Owlett
4 . Tom Stradwick
5 . Ed Taylor (Capt)
6 . Stevie Clark-Leonard
7 . Bill Harding
8 . Tom Baldwin

16 . Andy Boye
17 . Archie Holland
18 . Ronan Foley
19 . Chris Bell
20 . Fin O’Sullivan

Graham Cox