Sale Sharks secure much needed Bath victory

Sale Sharks secured a much needed 14-13 victory over Premiership rivals Bath at the Salford City Stadium on Friday.

The victory is Sale Sharks fifth for the season and it moves them six points clear of relegation rivals London Welsh.

A try in the 71st minute from Mark Cueto snatched victory from the jaws of
defeat for the Sharks in freezing conditions.

Both sides headed into the game on the back of defeats, with the Sharks having
come unstuck at home to Harlequins and Bath suffering a loss on their travels
to the same side.

An inauspicious start to the game in difficult conditions at the Salford City
Stadium brought little in the way of points-scoring opportunities, and it wasn’t
until the 21st minute that the deadlock was broken.

Nick Macleod’s penalty was enough to put Sale in front but their lead lasted
just 12 minutes, as Tom Heathcote levelled things up with a three-pointer of
his own.

The 3-3 scoreline probably reflected the flow of the game in the first half,
but the hosts weren’t content, and added two quickfire penalties just short
of half-time to establish a six-point advantage.

Sale maintained their lead during the opening exchanges of the second half,
until Horacio Agulla’s converted try on 54 minutes, converted by Heatcote, gave
Bath the lead for the first time.

Agulla’s try came after a well-worked line-out and a driving maul, but, though
the visitors held their hosts at bay in the period that followed, the score
would not prove decisive.

Sale rallied and matched Bath in the middle and their persistence paid off
as the game approached its final stages, when Cueto crashed over out wide for
an unconverted try.

That made it 14-10, and, though Heathcote narrowed the deficit to a single
point with a penalty on 76 minutes, Sale were able to hold on for a vital victory.

Final Score Sale Sharks 14 (9) Bath 13 (3)

Scorers

Sale Sharks
Tries – Cueto
Pen – MacLeod (3)
Con –
Drop –

Bath
Tries – Agulla
Pen – Heathcote 2
Con – Heathcote
Drop –

Match Officials
Referee
: JP Doyle ( 58th Premiership game)
Assistant Referees: Ashley Rowden & Stuart Terheege.

Teams

Sale Sharks

Cameron Shepherd, Charlie Amesbury, Jonny Leota, Sammy Tuitupou, Mark Cueto, Nick Macleod, Dwayne Peel, Alasdair Dickinson, Marc Jones, Henry Thomas, James Gaskell, Andrei Ostrikov, Dan Braid, David Seymour Captain, Andy Powell

Replacements Tommy Taylor, Ross Harrison, Tony Buckley, Fraser McKenzie, Kearnan Myall, Nathan Fowles, Danny Cipriani, Richie Vernon

Bath

15 Nick Abendanon , 14 Horacio Agulla , 13 Matt Banahan , 12 Kyle Eastmond , 11 Tom Biggs , 10 Tom Heathcote , 9 Peter Stringer, 8 Ben Skirving, 7 Carl Fearns , 6 Francois Louw , 5 Dave Attwood , 4 Stuart Hooper ( c ) , 3 David Wilson , 2 Rob Webber , 1 Paul James

Replacements :16 Ross Batty , 17 Nathan Catt , 18 Anthony Perenise , 19 Dominic Day , 20 Mat Gilbert , 21 Michael Claassens , 22 Ollie Devoto , 23 Semesa Rokoduguni

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