Sale Away Preview

Sale Away Preview

By Marcus Streets
25th April
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All to play for

So it comes down to the last week.

Alt least one of Caldy, Moseley or Cambridge will be relegated - assuming that no Championship club suddenly finds itself insolvent or the RFU decides to expand the Championship or Premiership. While none of those can be ruled out, they are not expected to happen.

So what are the options.

First Cambridge have to win, or we will be relegated. If we win and so do Moseley, then Caldy go down. However, if Caldy win and Moseley get a bonus point or we fail to get one, then we go down. If Caldy and Moseley draw, then Cambridge would stay up if they win - but would need a bonus point should Caldy score four tries.

If Cambridge and Caldy lose, Esher can avoid the drop with a 5-point win provided Caldy do not get a bonus.

To make matters even more interesting, if Esher and Cambridge are relegated and Chester manage an away win at Canterbury in the play-off next week, then one team from the South would go North and Cambridge would probably draw the short straw.

So that is clear - we need to win and ideally score four tries and hope the result in Birmingham favours us.

And what of our opponents. We played Sale in the first game of the season and it ended in a draw. Since then they have won one more match than we have, but they have picked up the try bonus point on twelve occasions which leaves them safe on 68 points.

Therefore we need as many fans as possible to make the trip to Manchester to roar the boys on.

So who are our opponents.

Sale sits on the South bank of the Mersey on Roman road from Chester to York, but the name is Anglo Saxon. Although mainly peaceful armies have passed through. During the Civil War the Parliamentarians besieged nearby Wythenshawe Hall. In 1745 as the Jacobites marches South, the English demolished the medieval bridge over the Mersey to block their path. The Jacobites rebuilt it threatening Chester and as the English forces moved to defend it, they Scots struck East toward Stockport.

The Bridgewater canal arrived twenty years later- bringing markets in Manchester. The railway followed in 1849 and the merchants moved out of Manchester and into Sale.

They took up sport, first cricket and then in 1861, a group of players at the cricket club looking for something to do in the winter drew up ten rules of football. This makes Sale FC one of the oldest rugby clubs. The club moved to Heywood Road in 1905. They gained their first international in 1927. But until Sale Sharks left Heywood Road in 2003 the amateur club was playing in the county leagues. Three promotions in successive seasons starting in 2003-4 took them to South Lancs Cheshire 1. They remained at that level for six seasons. Four more promotions took them to National One.

The 3rd XV head to Saffron Walden RFC who are hosting the Cambridge Finals day. There are five matches being played from 12:00 with the Blood and Sand kicking off at 14:00 in the Intermediate Cup Final. There is beer and a BBQ, free entry and parking.

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