Salford City Roosters travelled across the Pennines to take on bottom club Dewsbury Celtic and came home cursing their bad luck with injuries after providing the Yorkshire club with their first win of the season.
The Roosters completely dominated the first half but failed to turn pressure into points as a succession of injuries disrupted the pattern of play. Celtic had the better of the second half but there is little doubt that if the Roosters had kept all of their players fit they would have recorded a third successive victory.
The Roosters sorely missed the guile of stand off Bradley White who was in France for the Salford Red Devils match, but there were some excellent performances, particularly in the forwards with Mark Thomas and Danny Trimble outstanding, but even they were eclipsed by an all action man of the match show from Lee Salisbury.
The home team got off to a perfect start with their man of the match Jamiane Akidere scoring in the corner after the first attack of the game, but that was to be the last time, in the first 40, that Celtic would trouble the Roosters. Matthew Sherridan missed the conversion attempt (0-4) and indeed, not one of the eight tries scored on the day was converted.
It was all Roosters after the opening score and 3 times in 6 minutes they forced goal line drop outs off kicks from Steve Barry in the 5th, 6th and 11th minutes before finally breaching the home defence on 12 minutes. Trimble off loaded out of the tackle and John Brookes combined well with Martin Judge to send Tom Smith over the line in the corner, although too far out for Brookes to convert (4-4). Unfortunately, in the build up to that try, arguably Roosters most potent attacking threat – winger George Kemp limped off with a leg injury.
The Salford team suffered a further injury blow on 25 minutes when Kevin Wilson suffered a badly broken leg that saw him remain in Pinderfields hospital, Wakefield overnight. The Roosters continued to take the game to their hosts though but despite their dominance they failed to yield any more points before the half time, and in hindsight, maybe they should have elected to go for goal when they were awarded a penalty right in front on the sticks for a ball stealing infringement on Ben Connor 4 minutes before the whistle. Connor came off with a knee injury in the same incident.
Roosters took the lead on 47 minutes when Barry sent Thomas crashing through the defence 12 metres from the corner. Paul Morgan took over the kicking duties but unluckily hit the post (8-4). At this point it looked like Salford were comfortable until Celtic got a break on 53 minutes when Akidere scored a 90 metre interception try (8-8). Kemp, who had returned to fray at half time did well to chase back and force Akidere into the corner but that was the end of the match for Kemp after a recurrence of his earlier injury, leaving the Roosters with just one fit substitute.
That stroke of luck was just the tonic the home side needed and signalled their best period of the game as they hit the Roosters with two tries in two minutes, starting on the hour. First, James Archilbald broke down the wing from half way and although he was tackled by Morgan his momentum carried him over the whitewash (8-12) and then Josh West “dummied” his way through a gap to score (8-16).
On 65 minutes Salisbury fed Thomas and his excellent pass sent Will Rigby over for a try in the corner and Morgan was again unlucky to hit the post with his kick (12-16). Hopes of a comeback were soon extinguished though on 71 minutes when Akidere caught a high kick and completed his hat trick with a try in the corner (12-10).
To their credit the Roosters finished strongly and were unfortunate not to add to their tally. Thomas made a break on 75 minutes and then sent Rigby racing down the wing to draw his opposing winger and send a kick to the in goal where full back Danny Buckley just beat Morgan to the ball. That was Celtic’s fourth goal line drop out and it led to a try by Mark Thomas that was ruled out by the referee for illegal use of elbows. That decision ended the Roosters hopes of getting anything from the match.
Keep your news reliable, sustainable and local: Click here to donate to support SalfordOnline.com