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Salford City Roosters 12 Blackbrook 26

Steve Barry, Marc Jones, Martin Judge, Paul Morgan and Danny Trimble all returned to the Roosters line up for the Friday night fixture at home to in-form Blackbrook, but could not prevent the Salford side from slipping to another home defeat. The visitors were confident, having beaten league leaders Hunslet Club Parkside the previous Saturday, and that confidence was well founded because, on this sort of form they would be a match for any club in the NCL.

There was no lack of effort on the Roosters part and they felt at half time that they were in with a chance of taking the points, but the St.Helens side found another gear in the second half and gave the Roosters a lesson. It could have been much worse too because Blackbrook only converted one of their six tries.
Marc Gilligan and Adam Walker ran hard for the Roosters and Paul Morgan played well at scrum half but the man of the match award went to winger George Kemp.
Blackbrook opened the scoring on 7 minutes. Deon Cross broke down the middle only for Tom Smith to catch him up and pull off a try saving tackle, although to no avail as a quick tap continued the momentum and Craig Littler scored in the corner (0-4).

On 14 minutes Roosters hit back when Bradley White intercepted a pass on half way and made good ground before being hauled down 5 metres from the try line. With the Blackbrook defence still trying to get organised though Andrew Muscat sent Kemp crashing over 15 metres from the corner and White added a great conversion (6-4). It was a short lived lead however as Roosters knocked on from the re-start and a long pass from the base of the scrum saw Cross go over in the corner (6-8).
Roosters drew level on 25 minutes when Christian Higgins took a high shot and White booted the resulting penalty (8-8) although once again they were only level for 3 minutes. Blackbrook managed to get the ball dead from the re-start and a great pass saw Joe Bate stroll over between the sticks. Kicker Aaron Hewitt converted for his only success of the night (8-14).

John McAtee was brought into the action for the second half and made an impact within a minute – providing a pass that sent Muscat in for a try in the corner, albeit too far out for White to convert (12-14). Having shown his talent though McAtee showed his darker side 5 minutes later when he was sin binned for a high tackle. Blackbrook took advantage immediately with a slick passing movement involving Jordan Welsby and Littler resulting in a try in the corner for Hewitt (12-18).

Judge was held up over the try line on 55 minutes but Blackbrook took complete control at this point. On 58 minutes Cross scored his second try in the corner (12-22) and in the 64th minute they scored the try of the game. Aided by some poor tackling attempts from Salford Blackbrook kept the ball alive with a move from one end of the pitch to the other, and involving several players before Chris Wynn finished with a try (12-26).

There were no further scores from wither side although Marc Gilligan had a try ruled out on 74 minutes for an incorrect play the ball off McAtee.

Roosters 2016-08-06

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