Northern Conference Cup: Salford 40-18 UCLan


Salford men’s team beat UCLan 40-18 at Leigh Sports Village on Wednesday afternoon to reach the Quarter Final stage of the Northern Conference Cup.

Leigh Sports Village

After winning the BUCS Northern 2A League last week, Salford were on the look out for more glory, as they took a 30-4 lead going into half time. Conor Mulcahy, Reece Cumiskey, Dan Munt, Will Nelson and Tom Johnson all went over for Salford whilst Connor Johnson got UCLan’s only try of the first half.

Two tries in quick succession early on in the second 40 for Todd Fenlon gave UCLan hope of a revival, however, Joe Woolley replied quickly with a great solo effort.

Josh Hill made sure of the win late on for Salford before Fenlon got his hat-trick for UCLan but it was only consolation.

Due to it being a cup game, the tie was played at Leigh Sports Village but Salford seemed at home straight away as Conor Mulcahy scored an early try. He burst through the UCLan defence and found a gap to run into and went over in front of the sticks. Josh Hill converted to give Salford a 6-0 lead.

UCLan replied soon after as Connor Johnson bulldozed his way past two Salford men on the left side to go over. Jordan Williamson missed the kick and Salford had a two point advantage.

With just over 20 minutes on the clock, Salford extended their lead through a Reece Cumiskey try. A short pass by Josh Hill found Cumiskey who went through a gap and eased over the line. Hill added the extras to make it 12-4.

Two minutes later and Salford were in again this time through Dan Munt. Mulcahy found a gap in the UCLan defence and found the supporting Munt who raced away and out paced the chasing pack to score. Hill made it 18-4 with the kick.

A fourth try then followed for Salford as Will Nelson darted over. A brilliant pass by Joe Woolley allowed the centre to run 60 metre’s down field, untouched, and score. Hill added the two points to give Salford a 24-4 lead.

Just before the break, Tom Johnson went over for Salford. A break inside their own half allowed Salford to attack down the left and Hill found Johnson and the winger eased over the line. Rob Downing converted the kick to give his side a 26 point advantage.

UCLan fought back in the second half as Todd Fenlon scored within two minutes of the restart. The centre touched down on the right side after finding a gap but Williamson could not add the extras.

Fenlon got his second try three minutes later with a carbon copy of his first. Williamson’s kick just went wide of the post but UCLan reduced the score gap to 18 points.

Salford skipper Joe Woolley replied with a try almost immediately. The hooker ran from dummy half and found a gap in the UCLan defence to go over in front of the sticks. Hill added the two points and Salford went 36-12 in front.

Salford secured the win in the 68th minute through Hill as the UCLan defence were unable to bring him down in the left corner. Woolley took the kick and missed but Salford were 40-12 ahead.

In the final minutes of the match, Fenlon went over to get his hat trick for UCLan. After a few disagreements between players from both sides, Fenlon played on and scored the try. Williamson converted but Salford went home 40-18 winners and now go through to the Quarter Final stage of the Northern Conference Cup.

After their win today, the league triumph and the upcoming ‘two cities’ challenge with Manchester University, Joe Woolley said: “We’re on for the treble and its something we all want to do. The lads are training hard in the gym and putting the effort in every week and its really good to see. I’m a proud captain today!”

The Salford team celebrate the win

After the game, UCLan coach Andy Procter said: “I thought Salford were better than we were and their team had some good players that took advantage of us as we were a bit weak in certain areas but I thought we did well in the second half and stuck to our structure.”

Salford will play The University of Leeds or Leeds Trinity University in the Quarter final stage and Coach Alex Davidson believes: “It’s going to be tough either way and the joy of today was that we knew what we were up against and we knew what the opposition was like.

“Next week we are going into the unknown as we don’t know what they’re like…and that’s the case of the cup; we end up playing teams from the other side of the Pennines and it makes it exciting and little bit different!”

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