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Sunday, 26 May, 2002, 15:18 GMT 16:18 UK
Sale claim Shield glory
Sonny Parker of Pontypridd tackles Sale's Jason Robinson
Pontypridd's Sonny Parker stops a flying Jason Robinson

Pontypridd 22-25 Sale



Sale denied a spirited Pontypridd the Parker Pen Shield in a blistering match at Oxford's Kassam Stadium on Sunday.

Refusing to be overshadowed by their Heineken Cup counterparts, both sides put on a magnificent show, with Sale outscoring Ponty three tries to one.

Martin Shaw, Steve Hanley and Dan Harris touched over for the Manchester based side, with Ponty's sole effort coming from captain Mefin Davies.


Sale's class in attack ultimately proved too much for the Welsh Cup champions who were hoping to seal a unique double as well as Heineken Cup qualification.

It proved not to be for Ponty, but after full-back Brett Davey opted to kick for touch instead of go for goal late in the game they only have themselves to blame.

Davey slotted the first points of the match from just outside the Sale 22, after second row Chris Jones was penalised for stamping.

Minutes later they doubled their lead when Sweeney's drop goal sailed through the posts.

Sale struggled to gain any possession and were lucky not go 9-0 down when Davey's second penalty slipped past the posts, although he soon made amends, slotting over after Kevin Yates was penalised for offside.

Sale's Peter Anglesea charges past Pontypridd's Richard Parks
Peter Anglesea (right) was the man of the match
Sale struggled badly, and only managed to get on the board after Duncan Bell was pulled up for handling on the floor.

Hodgson slotted the kick from in front of the posts, but two further Ponty penalties gave the Welshmen a convincing 15-3 lead.

And worse followed for Sale when Kevin Yates was sin-binned for upending in the line-out.

Hodgson took an early second-half opportunity to cut the deficit when Richard Parks was penalised for lingering offside in front of his own posts.

It prompted a scrappy period of play but Sale were rewarded for pushing Ponty back into their own half when Martin Shaw touched down for the game's opening try.

Hodgson failed with the conversion, but Sale fans were celebrating again when Steve Hanley tore down the left flank, beating a flailing Ponty defence to touch down under the posts.

Hodgson's conversion pushed Sale 18-15 ahead. But Ponty were far from finished.

And they were rewarded with a penalty on 60 minutes deep inside the Sale 22.

Sale's Jason Robinson struggles to find space
Pontypridd stuck very closely to Jason Robinson
Instead of opting for the kick they forced Sale back past their own line with a wonderful forward drive.

Referee Alan Lewis raised his arm and hooker Mefin Davies got up ball in hand to the sounds of Ponty cheers.

Davey made no mistake with the conversion to grab a 22-18 lead.

It set up a scintillating final quarter in which Sale struck first.

A delicate step from Hodgson put Dan Harris over for their third of the game.

Hodgson's conversion pushed Sale 25-22 up, before Ponty refused their opportunity to draw level when Davey opted to kick for touch just outside the 22.

It was a decision they will clearly regret. From the ensuing line-out they knocked on, allowing Sale to clear their line and wrap up a remarkable season.


Teams: Pontypridd: B Davey; G Wyatt, S Parker, J Bryant, R Johnston; C Sweeney, P John (capt); G Jenkins, M Davies, D Bell, B Cockbain, R Sidoli, N Kelly, R Parks, M Owen.
Reps: G Baber, J Lewis, S James, M Rees, S Cronk, G Remnant, R Field.

Sale: J Robinson; M Cueto, M Shaw, M Deane, S Hanley; C Hodgson, B Redpath; K Yates, S Turner, C Marais, S Lines, C Jones, A Sanderson, S Pinkerton, P Anglesea.
Reps: A Dickens, J Baxendell, D Harris, R Wilks, M Giacheri, A Black, A Titterrell.

Referee: Alan Lewis (Ireland).

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's Nick Mullins
"Just reward for Sale"
Sale fly-half Charlie Hodgson
"We are very happy with ourselves"
Sale's Pete Anglesea
"This means a lot to me"
Pontypridd captain Paul John
"We couldn't break down Sale's defence"

Heineken Cup final

Matt Dawson

Parker-Pen final

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