Salford 48 Cumbria 0 Match Report – David Clegg
Salford Red Devils’ new look U19s side started the season in similar fashion to the manner in which their forerunners of last year had concluded the 2015 season, with a convincing victory over luckless Cumbria.
As the score shows, the Devils ended the game with something of a romp, but the first half was some distance removed from that, and the home side had to work hard to establish the platform from which they were then able to kick on, and eventually revel in the free scoring spectacle which must have delighted their followers and coaching staff.
Indeed the Red Devils had much to be thankful to their defence for, in the last fifteen minutes of the first half, when Cumbria had a spate of almost uninterrupted possession, which ensured that they spent much of this time testing the Salford line to considerable extent. That the Salford players weathered this storm and kept the visitors pointless probably contributed significantly towards the onslaught which was to come in the second half.
For Head Coach, Garreth Carvell, this must have been the best start he could have wished for.
From the outset their was evidence of early nerves among the home side as, having taken the kick off cleanly, a misunderstanding between players saw the very first pass ricochet loose off the chest of the receiver, and gift the visitors their first attacking chance.
It was, nevertheless, only a matter of minutes, four to be accurate, before a break by Aaron Moore, operating at hooker this season, set up the position for a home attack, and after loose forward, Chris Worrall was held up over the line, second rower, Lewis Hatton found a little more space to be able to force his way over and ground to the right of the posts. Lewis Fairhurst was left to slot over the simple conversion.
Ten minutes later, the Cumbrians came their closest to getting points on the board, when, following a forced goal-line drop-out, winger, Sam Freeman was put in the clear and crossed, only for it to be disallowed for a forward pass.
Salford’s response was swift, and on the back of a helpful penalty, Aaron Moore’s clever dummy and scoot from a play-the-ball, opened up a gap for him to notch up the second try on the left hand side of the field, converted again by Lewis Fairhurst.
From the restart, some great work by Salford forwards, Jonny Scott, Liam Bent, Chris Worrall, and Lewis Hatton, culminated in a bullocking run through from prop Luke Fowden , to complete the near hundred metres they had gained from their efforts, and, fittingly the ball was moved along the line to the left, and second rower, Adam Jones, was able to exploit the space available to him out wide, to run in the third and final try of the half. Lewis Fairhurst was as equally assured with this, his most difficult conversion so far as he had been with the earlier, more straightforward kicks.
Unfortunately, the game turned a little sour, on 31 mins, when a lengthy stoppage concluded with Jonny Scott being helped slowly from the field, with a knee injury. This seemed to herald a change in fortunes for the two teams, as Cumbria monopolised possession and twice came close to scoring.
First the luckless Freeman was denied for a second try, as great cover defence got across to his wing and tackled him into touch, close to the try line. Then a the high towering kick into the Salford in-goal area was knocked down onto the line but the advancing Cumbria attacker was unable to ground the ball cleanly, and the Devils survived again. The half eventually ended with the visitors being tackled inches from the Salford try line.