SALE Sharks finished their season with a narrow 27-24 victory over Bath at the AJ Bell stadium on Saturday.
Denny Solomona crossed over with a spectacular run, before Ben Curry put an end to the first half with a try.
Josh Charnley then added a calm finish after the break and the home side were able to hang on, despite an attempted comeback from the west countrymen.
The positive result came at the end of a disappointing season for Sale, which saw them finish 10th in the Aviva Premiership.
It was also the final match at the club for many of the playing staff and in the case of former Welsh international Mike Phillips, the last of his career.
Phillips spoke about walking off the field to a standing ovation: “I loved that. I had to hold back the tears to be honest with you. Then I sort of gave myself an uppercut and was alright then.”
He added: “This is a really good young squad and these players will come on and flourish in the next few years and hopefully they can come on and play for the Lions.”
— Justine Mclaughlin (@justine89mc) May 8, 2017
One positive element of the Sharks’ season was the performance of Bryn Evans, who earned a place in Will Greenwood’s team of the season.
Evans offered his assessment: “We weren’t happy with our season. I think we finished 10th and we feel we’re better than that and hopefully the guys who are coming into the squad next year bring something, bring experience, a little nous and we can take that and turnover close games that we should win and slowly climb our way back up to where we belong.”
Sale have already shown their intent for next year with the announced signing of South African international scrum-half Faf de Klerk to replace Phillips. Further announcements are expected in the coming weeks.