For the third time in the Raging Bull Trophy competition Caldy 3’s found themselves underdogs. On this occasion though, we weren’t just underdogs but rank outsiders to lift the trophy. Sale FC 2nd XV’s record in the league above Caldy is played 26, won 26, points for 1294, points against 78. The pre-match instructions were simple – play with a smile on your face and enjoy!
None of the crowd were expecting what came next – Caldy took possession from the kick off and attacked like they were the favourites. For a full fifteen minutes Sale did not get their hands on the ball but we could not break through the defensive line. It started to become more clear how they have maintained such an incredible defensive record for the season. All the pressure resulted in a single penalty converted by Doyle.
After twenty minutes Sale with some possession started to pick up the pace of the game and had their strongest period when a lack of concentration allowed the Sale attack through twice in the 25 and 33rd minutes and their kicker after converting one of the tries then knocked a penalty over for a 15 – 3 lead. At this point it would have been so easy for Caldy to give up but they came straight back from the restart and camped on Sale’s line again. Macca took the drive to within 3 yards of the line and the forwards produced quick ball that was spun wide where Dave Ingleson crashed over to score. The conversion was missed and the half time score was 15 – 8.
In the second half the Caldy side threw everything that they could at Sale but the only time they crossed the line, Macca was held up and the score not given. Max Doyle
scored 2 further penalties in the 48th and 69th minutes to bring the score to 15 – 14 but Sale played the intelligent game and got into Caldy’s 22 where they closed out the game.
Caldy’s desperate defence in the last ten minutes was outstanding but Sale knew that if they could keep us on our line then they had the game won without needing to score any further points. The game finished 15 points to 14.
All credit to all 19 players that made up Caldy’s squad and to the countless others who have played a part in an excellent season.
Moment of the aftermatch – Max Doyle
’s, stylish and graceful streak around the first team pitch to the amusement of his team mates and the beer festival guests.