Saturday, 5 May 2012

Sale Sharks' farewell to Edgeley Park

Today was Sale Sharks' last game at Edgeley Park. 10 149 fans watched the clash with table leaders - Harlequins. From the very first minutes of the match, it was clear that the hosts are well motivated. They showed a lot of spirit and even managed to cross the rivals' try line in the initial stage of the game, unfortunately the try was not awarded. During the first half of the game the more experienced visitors took the lead. They were leading 3:15 at half time. At the beginning of the second half, Sharks took advantage of playing with one extra man (Nick Evans was sin-binned), and Will Addison scored a fantastic try - in my opinion one of the most spectacular tries in this year’s Aviva Premiership season. Despite the efforts, Sale couldn't break Harlequins' solid defense and visitors took a deserved win 10:24.

All spectators were certainly happy with Sale Sharks' performance today. Especially after hearing the news from the Welford Road where Leicester Tigers comfortably beat Bath. This means that Sale finished the season at the 6th place so Heineken Cup is back in Manchester. Next season games will be played at the new stadium - especially designed for rugby, so I’m very pleased that in addition to the league games we will also be able to see European elite there.

I had the opportunity to watch many games at Edgeley Park, so as the farewell to the stadium I've picked a handful of statistics and I've chosen three the most unforgettable memories to me.

Sale Sharks played 141 matches - won 97, drew 4 and lost 40. They scored 3646 points, and conceded 2339. Over 1 100 000 tickets have been sold until today. The record point scorer is Charlie Hodgson - 1031, Mark Cueto scored 88 tries.

1. Jason Robinson's farewell match against Bath. The last seconds of the match, after amazing run through almost half the pitch, Robinson scored the winning try, setting the match result at 25:23.
2. 2009 Heineken Cup game, after a dramatic match Sharks defeated Cardiff Blues 27:26.
3. Big surprise at the beginning of the 2009 season - a victory over the champions Leicester Tigers 15:12. Before the match bookmakers were predicting big win for the visitors, by 40-50 points’ difference.

Below are some photos from today's game: