Sam Stone’s golden point try earned Salford Red Devils a HUGE two points in the race for the playoffs.
It was a scrappy, nail-biting contest for everybody involved, but it was Paul Rowley’s men who leave the Salford Stadium with a massive boost going into the final two Betfred Super League fixtures.
The tone was set early on, with Joe Burgess spilling Josh Drinkwater’s high bomb and Matty Nicholson picking up the pieces to send Wire into the lead.
Errors were aplenty for both sides and a strong tackle from a host of Salford bodies forced an error from Matty Ashton – handing us a full set in dangerous territory.
Deon Cross danced past the Wire line with some neat footwork, but an ankle tap and a grab of the boot constituted a completed tackle for referee, Liam Moore, despite the centre jumping back up to slide over.
A similar situation arose down the other end just minutes later, when Paul Vaughan reached out an arm to try and ground the ball, but lost his grip on the stretch.
It was end-to-end stuff, with Peter Mata’utia the next penalty culprit via an incorrect play-the-ball.
From the resulting scrum, Danny Addy – who was outstanding across his two stints on the field – flicked a pass to Marc Sneyd, who released Ben Hellewell to skip past his man and slide over.
The atmosphere was cranked up another notch and went even louder when Chris Atkin and King Vuniyayawa dislodged the ball from Stefan Ratchford’s hands with a big hit.
Ackers picked up the loose ball and launched a looping pass to the wide-open Brodie Croft, who gleefully fired us into a half-time lead.
HALF-TIME: Salford Red Devils 12-6 Warrington Wolves
It was déjà vu for Salford early in the second-half, with Ken Sio this time spilling a high bomb and allowing Ben Currie to steal a match to level proceedings.
There was some good goal-line D to follow that error, but just when everyone felt like we were gaining territory, a high tackle allowed Ratchford to knock over a penalty-goal.
Croft was so often the architect of our attacking play this afternoon and broke the line with a lightening bit of footwork, to dig us out of another hole.
That move – despite Ackers almost releasing Brierley – ultimately came to nothing, but it was certainly a catalyst for a bit of pressure on the Wire line.
On the last, the same source tried to stab a grubber kick which fortunately ricocheted back into his path for an easy stroll over the line.
Sneyd sent over the extras and Salford held a four point lead with 25 minutes remaining.
It wasn’t long until we had the next twist, with George Williams breaking his challenge to crash over under the posts.
The Reds began to probe again and had five minutes to effectively keep their playoff hopes alive.
Wire handed us a lifeline when some confusion on their own line meant a forward pass was played and Sneyd brought the game back level with the kicking tee.
In the process, our incredible number seven notched his 2000th Super League point – a phenomenal achievement.
FULL-TIME: Salford Red Devils 20-20 Warrington Wolves
To golden point we went and Sneyd was the first in range to try a drop-goal.
His effort – despite looking destined to sail straight through – crashed off the left post and back into play.
Wire failed to make much ground; but neither did Salford and on the fourth play, a moment of magic from Burgess won us the game.
Brad Singleton, who went from villain to hero, threw a cut-out pass to Tim Lafai, who quickly got it out the back to our flying winger.
His silky footwork sold Thewlis and despite another attempted ankle tap by Drinkwater, he managed to stay on his feet and tee up the supporting Sam Stone to send the South Stand into raptures.
Two massive points, with another cup final to come next weekend against fellow playoff chasing Hull KR.
END OF GOLDEN POINT: Salford Red Devils 24-20 Warrington Wolves
Photo credit: Steve McCormick