Saturday, 25th July, 2015. NCL division 1.
Match report by Ken Roberts
Salford City Roosters slipped deeper into relegation trouble on Saturday with a heavy defeat away to promotion chasing Pilkington Recs. The Salford team paid a heavy price for a slow start to the game that saw them 30 points down in 25 minutes. In all honesty the Roosters players looked like they didn’t want to be there in the opening half hour on Saturday, and of course they should not have been there?
When the fixtures were announced at the start of the season “Pilks” were due to visit Eccles on the weekend of the Super League magic in Newcastle but Roosters agreed to switch that game to a Thursday night, on the proviso that the return game in St. Helens would be played on the Friday night so that the Salford boys could attend one of the players wedding on the Saturday. “Pilks” agreed but then switched it back to Saturday earlier in the week because their players wanted to attend St. Helens .v. Hull KR on Friday night, meaning that the Roosters would travel to the game with just 16 players and a much changed team.
Pilkingtons scored tries through Andy Nesbit (6 mins), Brandon Lewis (13 mins), Greg Smith 17 mins, Smith again (19 mins) and Dan Filson (25 mins), all converted by Dan Lynch to take a 30-0 lead, but the Salford team stopped the rot after that and shocked the home side with 3 tries of their own in the final 10 minutes of the first half. Bradley White sent a low kick through the defensive line and where full back Dylan Hilliyard knocked on Will Rigby swooped to pick the ball up and score a try that White improved (6-30) for the visitors’ opening score.
On 36 minutes Ben Connor was stopped close to the line and Roosters man of the match Mike Halsall scampered over from dummy half with White again converting (12-30), and right on the half time whistle Adam Taher barged his way over for another try, which he converted himself (18-30), with White off injured. That try came after Roosters forced a goal line drop out with Jordan Parker, Dave Pratt and Tom Smith trapping winger Dan Filson in goal after chasing an attacking kick.
Suddenly there was a belief in the Roosters ranks that what seemed impossible 10 minutes earlier now seemed very possible and they took the game to their hosts, being rewarded on 47 minutes when Lee Salisbury threw a long pass out to Parker and he switched it back inside for Halsall to force the ball down next to the posts. Taher added the goal points (24-30) to give the visitors hope but those hopes were soon dashed within 2 minutes by a Ian Stanley try, converted by Lynch (24-36).
The Roosters mammoth effort to get back into the game had clearly taken its toll on the players and the home side took advantage of some tired bodies to add 4 more tries to their total. Lynch went on to record 9 successes from 11 goal attempts, missing just his last two as Pilkingtons scored further tries through Hilliyard on 56 minutes (24-42), Filson on 70 minutes (24-48), Hilliyard again on 75 minutes (24-52) and Nesbitt right on full time (24-56).
Referee:- Mr Kevin Moore (Wakefield).
Half time= 18-30. Full time= 24-56.