Reserve grade is back in the Super League and for Salford Red Devils with much anticipation. The first game for our Reserve Team presented a tough challenge away against a strong St Helens side at a windy Ruskin Drive.
The squad was a mixture of first team players who did not play in Friday evenings game, including Ryan Lannon, Elliot Kear, Chris Atkin and Krisnan Inu among others. There were also Swinton players, foundation graduates and other young Reserve Team players.
The first 15 minutes was a tight encounter with both sides making strong field position. St Helens opened the scoring from a repeat set where they found a gap in the Salford defence, the try was converted to make it 6-0 to the hosts. Ten minutes later St Helens extended their lead to 12-0, this time a scoot from dummy half unlocking the Salford defence
Salford provided pressure on the St Helens line after going down 12-0 and got their just rewards, a lovely outside play involved a tip off back to Ryan Lannon setting him free to score. The kick was successful making it 12-6 half an hour into the game. Salford levelled the score 5 minutes later with a blind side run catching the St Helens defence out, Chris Atkin found himself with a simple finish to set the score at 12-12 just before half time.
Halftime: St Helens 12-12 Salford Red Devils
Salford carried on their pressure from the end of the first half to take the lead, Connor Jones scooted to break through the St Helens defence, before the ball found its way to Elliot Kear, who scored in the corner. The kick went wide to leave the score at 16-12.
St Helens hit back nine minutes later, the ball was moved out wide with a dummy bamboozling the Salford players and a try was scored to the right of the uprights. The next 15 minutes became very similar to the first half with a strong-arm wrestle between both sides. St Helens eventually extended their lead with some neat footwork from their scrum half seeing him cross over the line, converting his own try to make it 24-16.
Salford weren’t finished, Joe Digby scored to the left of the sticks a couple of minutes before full time. This try sadly proved too late in the game and the Reserve Team were beaten 24-22.
There were plenty of positives to take for coach Danny Barton into next Sunday’s game at Newcastle Thunder. Salford were held up over the line three times during the duration of the game and played brilliantly throughout against an excellent St Helens side. Particularly, the young reserve players on our books never once looked out of place.
Full-time: St Helens 24-22 Salford Red Devils
Salford Team: Jamie Abram, Dafydd Jones, Ed Chamberlain, Elliot Kear, Krisnan Inu, Alex Smith, Chris Atkin, Chris Worrall, Connor Jones, Connor MacCallum, Ryan Lannon, Jack Ormondroyd, Henry Davies. Interchanges: Connor Davies-Aspey, Joe Digby, Tom Millington, Tyler Brown.
Salford tries: Kear, Atkin, Lannon, Digby
Salford goals: Inu (3/4)