Academy Off To Positive Start

DEFENCES were at a premium at the Salford Stadium on Saturday as the Saints U19’s opened their account with a scrappy 62-36 win, writes Graham Henthorne.

After a bizarre opening 10 minutes which saw the Saints go behind from a dropped bomb, then go six points clear from two uncontested high kicks of their own, it took a fabulous piece of work from Liam Cooper to preserve the lead. The Salford player was in the process of touching down as Cooper came upon him from behind knocking the ball out of his hands.

A sloppy interception from half way did in fact bring the scores level but from that point on the Saints took charge with punishing drives from Greg Richards and Luke Thompson continually putting their hosts on the back foot.

It was Richards who profited from the latest left bomb as he crawled his way over the line on the quarter hour to regain the lead.

But nothing was lost from the Saints momentum as both starting props were replaced. Phil Atherton and big Ross McAuley both continued to pummel the Red Devils into submission.

The try of the day from Lewis Charnock started a purple patch of four tries in a ten minute period which took the game away from the hosts. Dan Abram took a high ball on the run before some great interpassing between Lewis Galbraith and Matty Fleming down the right found the supporting Charnock to go the final 40 metres for a great Saints try.

The Saints bench continued to provide good support as Aaron Smith took over from Matty Fozard at hooker spotting a gap at a play the ball to open his account at this level.

Galbraith showed good strength to hand off his opposite number for his second and Saints sixth try of the half before a delightful short pass at the line from Dave Hewitt gave Joe Ryan a walk in.

A knock on and another set of six showed the coaching staff a vision of what was to come in the second half as the hosts scored at the whistle.

The second half opened brightly as debutant Danny Richardson took the ball directly at the defensive line before spreading it left only for Olly Davies to cut back against the grain and score.

But then we got into a ‘you score, we score’ scenario as the Saints defence crumbled letting the hosts on for two soft tries.

The lead was stretched again as a deft Hewitt grubber kick got a repeat set from which Fozard found himself on the end of a string of offloads to score.

Greg Richards poked his nose and more importantly his hands through the line to put Hewitt away for a deserved try. He finished superbly standing the full back up before scooting around to the posts.

And it was Richards again causing the damage as straight from the kick off he broke clear putting Abram into open space. The full back was caught by the cover but as the ball was spread right Galbraith completed a well deserved hat-trick powering his way past his opposite number.

Two late tries again gave the score-line an air of respectability which shouldn’t have materialised after the opening ten minutes.

Richards, Thompson, Galbraith, Hewitt and Charnock were the pick of a rusty Saints bunch but there were encouraging displays from Smith, McAuley and Atherton off the bench.

Match Summary:

Salford U19s:
Tries: Edwin Okang-Ajwang, Kieran Gill 3, Tom Horner, Ryan Lannon, Connor Hetherington.
Goals: Etienne Feret, Dan Lomax 3.

Saints U19s:
Tries: Lewis Galbraith 3, Jordan Tisdale, Lewis Charnock, Dave Hewitt, Greg Richards, Matty Fozard, Olly Davies, Joe Ryan, Aaron Smith.
Goals: Lewis Charnock 8, Dave Hewitt.

Half Time: 40-10
Full Time: 62-36


Salford U19s:
1. Etienne Feret; 2. Kyle Dolan, 3. Matty Gee, 4. Edwin Okang-Ajwang, 5. Adams Okeh; 6. Kieran Gill, 7. Dan Lomax; 8. Tom Horner, 9. Harry Files, 10. Aiden Hema, 11. Connor Hesketh, 12. Jack Swarbrick, 13. Ryan Lannon.
Subs: 14. Connor Hetherington, 15. Harry Swarbrick, 16. Jonny Scott, 17. Luke Fowden.

Saints U19s:
1. Dan Abram; 2. Lewis Galbraith, 4. Matty Fleming, 3. Jake Spedding, 5. Jordan Tisdale; 6. Lewis Charnock, 7. Dave Hewitt; 8. Greg Richards, 9. Matty Fozard, 15. Luke Thompson, 11. Liam Cooper, 12. Olly Davies, 13. Joe Ryan.
Subs: 10. Ross McAuley, 14. Aaron Smith, 17. Phil Atherton, 18. Danny Richardson.

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