11th December 2018, 12:05 | college_

AOC Premier Division round-up: Week 6

AOC Premier Division round-up: Week 6

By Jack Heale

There was only one tie in week six of the AOC Premier division, that being Furness Raiders' trip to Salford Red Devils Rising Stars which continued the trend of the former's high-scoring wins of late.

Despite the tough conditions on a miserable night, coach Dennis Porter said: "We decided ourselves we would continue with our process and we would try and play some rugby."

Furness opened the scoring nine minutes in thanks to Andy McKie with Ethan Bickerdike converting and the score was soon doubled courtesy of Shane Sanderson and Bickerdike at hand with the conversion once again.

Salford soon dived over to make it 4-12, however, just prior to half-time Elliot Stockdale extended the Raiders' lead with Bickerdike converting.

In the second half, Adam Ford rapidly made it 4-24 with Bickerdike converting. The Red Devils came back fighting and soon made it 8-24. Four minutes later, Furness were at hand to squash any hopes of a Salford comeback with Sanderson burrowing over again and Bickerdike as clinical at converting the try as ever.

With just over five minutes left, Cameron Curry scored to make it 8-36 with Max Anderson-Moore at hand this time to covert.

Cameron Hetherington then drove the ball over to extend the lead in the dying embers of the game, with Anderson-Moore converting it to complete his and Bickerdike's 100 per cent conversion record in the game. The tie was then settled with the score at 8-42 in Furness' favour.

Porter felt that the win was aided by the prior knowledge they had on their opponents from when they last played.

"They (Salford) kept coming, they were very quick around the rucks which we knew from playing them earlier on in the season, we worked on that and we tried to shut that down.

The game was seemingly won amongst the two sets of forwards as Porter added: "The Furness forwards got the upper hand allowing the backs to play and put points on the board at regular intervals.

"Salford were a threat with the ball in hand and had some good spells, but I feel they missed too many one-on-one tackles when defending." 

Furness seem to be developing more and more as the season progresses, yet despite some remarkable wins of late, Porter is still aware of how competitive the division is.

"On any given day anybody can beat anybody in that League, I’m convinced of that. The score lines don’t reflect the closeness of some of the games.”

The result leaves Salford in the lower echelons of the division with two points but they are more than capable of turning their season around. Furness are now hot on Wakefield's heels for second spot.