National League Two North: Sale 63 Wharfedale 27

CONDITIONS at Heywood Road were perfect for fast, open rugby, and the small crowd of 217 were not disappointed.

After a promising start, a loose kick from Wharfedale was collected by 16 stone home debutant Paulo Odogwu, who outpaced the covering defence and put Ciaran Connolly in at the corner, Liam McGovern adding the extras.

Wharfedale were then awarded a penalty, which Tom Barrett duly converted to make the score 7-3.

But second-placed Sale enjoyed a purple patch over the next 13 minutes, running in tries from Chris Johnson, Ollie Longmore and Odogwu, all of them being converted by the impeccable McGovern, making the score 35-3.

From the kick-off, Wharfedale quickly worked their way into the Sale 'red zone' and, after a collapsed driving maul, Dan Birchall was given a yellow card.

From the resulting penalty, the ball was recycled quickly out wide for Tom Davidson to score, Barrett missing the conversion to leave the half-time score at 35-8 Immediately from the re-start, Barrett intercepted a pass in Wharfedale s half and raced the length of the pitch for a try which he converted.

This gave the travelling supporters hope but, in a period of scrappy play, both Rob Baldwin (high tackle) and Sale's Adam Aigbokhae (technical) were sent to the bin for ten minutes.

From a line-out, and after multiple phases, Connolly crossed the line again for Sale, McGovern converting from wide out.

Wharfedale then won a scrum in their own half, and Scott Jordan made a break and held off several Sale defenders to score a good try, converted by Barrett, leaving the score at 42-22.

The final quarter was nearly all Sale, however, and tries by Jack Moorhouse(2) and McGovern were all converted by the latter, giving him a 100 per cent record from the tee.

Then, in the 80th minute, never-say-die Wharfedale attacked out wide and Robbie Davidson went on to score the four-try bonus-point try, Barrett missing the final conversion to leave the score at 63-27.

Referee: Harry Walbaum.