TRIBUTE TO JOHN CORCORAN

 

Salford Red Devils have been saddened to learn of the passing of former, back row forward, John Corcoran, on the 2nd August, following a short illness.

John (pictured second from left, above) joined Salford from Wigan St Patrick’s, in 1974, and, although he might have appeared to have been lacking in size for a position in the pack, he more than compensated for this with his energy and endeavour; his hard running and zealous tackling ensured that he played well above his weight.

He made his first appearance from the bench, on the 13 August 1974, in the annual, pre-season charity match against Swinton, for the Red Rose Cup, which he followed up, a few weeks later on 8th September, once again as a substitute, in a home game against Huyton, in the Lancashire Cup.

Although he remained with the club for four years, because of the intensity of competition for places in the team, at that time, John played most of his rugby in the A team.  Nevertheless, he turned out in the first team for a total of forty games, starting in eighteen of them, coming off the bench in the remaining twenty-two, and scoring three tries.  In addition, in September 1975, he went on loan to Leigh, for whom he played a further three games.

His final first team match was against Dewsbury, at The Willows, on the 11th January, 1978, and later that year, during the close season, he transferred to Blackpool Borough, where he became a mainstay, and later captain, of their team.  He featured most regularly at loose forward, making the starting line-up on seventy-five occasions, with a further four as a substitute, and scoring five tries.

His final move came in September 1981 to Rochdale Hornets, and during this, his last season, he played a further fourteen games, starting in thirteen of these, and scoring a try.

Our sincere sympathy and condolences go out from everyone connected with Salford Red Devils, to his family and friends, at this particularly sad time.

His funeral will be held on Tuesday, 16th August, at St Saviour’s Church, Preston, PR5 6EP, at 2..00 pm.

Acknowledgement:  Graham Morris, Club Historian

RED DEVILS SNUFF OUT DEWSBURY FIGHT BACK

Salford Red Devils 28  Dewsbury 16                          Match Report

A most spirited rally, in the final quarter of the game saw Salford’s women’s team continuing their successful start to the season, with a twelve-point victory, sealed by a brace of tries from full-back, Steph Gray, both of which were converted by Demi Jones.

With a number of their regular players missing, there was a slightly makeshift look about the team sheet, but, in fairness, every member of the side, whether newly in, or operating in a different position, came through with credit for their commitment to the cause, and for the way they all gelled together to secure the win.

It was a dream start to the game, for the Reds when first, the Dewsbury kick-off went straight into touch, and, from the ensuing penalty, Salford were well positioned to set up a series of attacks on the visitors’ line.  It took until the fourth minute, only, for them to open their account, with an excellent end-of-set cross-field kick finding the arms, of right centre, Lauren Ellison, who caught and grounded the ball in one single movement.

With a 4-0 advantage, and playing down the Schofield Rd slope, spectators eagerly awaited further tries to follow, but a combination of handling errors, which occurred whenever they got near to the Dewsbury line, compounded by a considerable number of penalties, primarily for offside and high tackles, let Dewsbury back into the game  It was from one such handling error, followed by two, late in set, penalties, that the visitors had sufficient possession to force an overlap, to draw level.

Buoyed by this success, the Yorkshire side continued to enjoy sufficient possession from further penalties to put Salford under significant pressure for several minutes, even forcing a goal-line drop-out, in the process.  What was significant, however, was that the magnificent Salford defence was able to soak up these continual assaults on their line, without conceding any further points.

Eventually, on 34 mins, they set up an attack which was not flawed by any errors, as the ball was moved, most tellingly, along the line to produce a three to one overlap, which provided left centre, Alex Simpson, with a try-scoring opportunity in the corner.  Most remarkably, Jones was successful with the conversion from the touchline, which sailed between the posts, to set up a 10-4, half-time scoreline.

The game really appeared to have swung in favour of the Red Devils, shortly after the restart, when cleverly- angled running by second rower, Viki Kini, opened up the defence on the right-hand side to set up Ellison, with her second try, goaled once again by Jones. 16-4

What had seemed to be a fairly comfortable lead at the time proved to be anything but, on 59 mins, when Dewsbury scored the second of two tries within three minutes of each other, and the successful conversions bringing the sides level.

Nothing can be more dispiriting than to see your lead eradicated completely, and the game was at the point at which it could have gone either way.  Dewsbury, with their tails up, and the benefit of the downward slope must have really fancied their chances, while the Red Devils were up against an uphill slog, in temperatures which had changed by a whole season, during the course of the afternoon, and in the hot sunshine they were finding the going most energy sapping.

This was when the team really showed its character, determination, and on the back of these, its confidence.  Alex Simpson, it was, who set the ball rolling, with a tremendous break from within her own twenty, to be tackled near to the half-way line, to the left of the field.  Taz Corcoran took up the baton from there, with a super scoot towards the visitors twenty, and a couple of tackles later Gray scythed through the middle for the first of her match-determining brace.

Every member of the side did their utmost to bring about the victory, and all can feel pride not just in the result but in their contribution in overcoming adversity at various stages of the match.  It is something they will be able to take into their next encounter, in the League Cup tie, away at Illingworth, next week.

SALFORD:

Steph Gray, Jenna Monks, Lauren Ellison, Alex Simpson, Eponine Fletcher, Louise Fellingham, Demi Jones, Casey Naylor, Tamzin Corcoran, Darcey Price, Kayleigh Bradshaw, Victoria Kini, Megan Condliffe, Hannah Wicks, Yasmin Parton-Sotomayor, Abi Collins, Laura Bent, Gabrielle Chaplin

PHOTOGRAPH: Courtesy of Sean Monks, with our thanks

Steph Gray grounding the ball firmly between the posts

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