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Match Report

Saints v City Reds

BRAVE Saints edged an icy Langtree Park and a late Salford fightback to win 14-10.

Ade Gardner and Francis Meli scored tries whilst debutant Lewis ‘Duggie' Charnock kicked three vital goals.

The youngster, starting at stand-off, joined Dom Speakman in making their bows for the Saints.

Nathan Ashe also made his first appearance of the season at hooker.

Whilst the match was about Charnock and co joining that great Saints production line, it was also down to one other thing too - the weather.

Saints staff from all areas of the club joined more than 50 fans in clearing the covers of snow in the build up.

Sadly, the white stuff came back again as the game got close to kick off - and the match suffered.

Handling errors were aplenty but 34 players braved the elements to put together a brutal contest.

Saints got the ball from kick off and fired in a great clearing kick to gain another set. But after another repeat six the ball went to ground.

Salford then forced a drop out on their next set and went close through Martin Gleeson.

On 10 minutes, Paul Wellens made a great run and two minutes later they had another repeat set on the Reds' line.

But the weather continued made handling difficult.

Saints finally broke the deadlock on 25 minutes. Wellens got a quick play the ball and it was flipped out to Turner who fed Ade Gardner for his second of the season.

Salford missed a chance with around 12 to go as a smart kick was knocked on over the line.

But Saints edged further ahead when Lewis Charnock smacked over a penalty with three minutes left in the half to give Saints a 6-0 lead.

The home side had the ascendancy early in the second half before a comedy of errors in defending a long kick handed Salford a free set.

The Reds then forced another drop out but Saints withstood the pressure.

Francis Meli killed a cheeky Salford kick to hand the visitors another drop out and Wellens proved he is as brave as they come as he collected a low chip right at the chasing feet.

Saints turned defence into attack though and on their next set great work from Manu set Josh Jones free.

And the youngster didn't disappoint, destroying the Salford cover to put Meli over - goaled by Charnock.

Duggie added another penalty before Liam Foran pulled one pack after a great chip.

Sneyd then dove over to make the final stages interesting but the home side did just enough to hang on.

Match Summary:

Saints:
Tries: Gardner, Meli
Goals: Charnock (3 from 4)

Salford:
Tries: Foran, Sneyd
Goals: Sneyd (1 from 2)

Penalties:
Saints: 8
Salford: 5

HT: 6-0
FT: 14-10

REF: Phil Bentham

ATT: 5348

Teams:

Saints:

1. Paul Wellens; 2. Ade Gardner, 3. Jordan Turner, 19. Josh Jones, 5. Francis Meli; 35. Lewis Charnock, 12. Jon Wilkin; 8. Josh Perry, 23. Nathan Ashe, 11. Tony Puletua, 13. Willie Manu, 15. Mark Flanagan, 10. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook.
Subs: 4. Sia Soliola, 16. Paul Clough, 25. Alex Walmsley, 31. Dom Speakman.

Salford:

22. Marc Sneyd; 5. Danny Williams, 4. Martin Gleeson, 3. Ashley Gibson, 2. Jodie Broughton; 21. Theo Fages, 7. Liam Foran; 27. Darrell Griffin, 14. Wayne Godwin, 20. Adam Neal, 11. Matty Ashurst, 12. Andrew Dixon, 13. Stephen Wild.
Subs: 9. Stuart Howarth, 15. Chris Nero, 18. Ryan Boyle, 19. Jordan James.