Sale Sharks kept alive their hopes of finishing in the top four of the Gallagher Premiership with a 28-17 win over Harlequins at the AJ Bell Stadium.
The Sharks, who started the evening nine points behind their opponents in the table, cut the deficit to just five thanks to Byron McGuigan’s try and 23 points from the boot of AJ MacGinty.
Harlequins had led in the first half through tries from Mike Brown and Jack Clifford but left Salford empty-handed after their ninth defeat of the season.
The visitors started the brighter and took the lead after just four minutes. Brown crashing over after an excellent initial burst from Danny Care. The score converted by Demetri Catrakilis – a man making his first Premiership start in a year.
They almost had a second two minutes later, but Faf de Klerk was on hand to prevent Care from getting the ball down.
Sale were on the back foot but did slowly start to get back into the game. MacGinty with their first points of the evening, slotting a simple penalty.
The American international added two further three-point scores to give the hosts a 9-7 lead approaching the half-hour mark.
But it would be Care, once again, that sprung Harlequins back into life. The scrum-half with a delightful chip straight into the hands of Clifford, with the flanker dotting down for his team’s second try to re-establish their advantage.
MacGinty reduced the arrears with penalty number four, and Sale would take the lead on the stroke of half-time. McGuigan intercepting and running into score from his own half to put Steve Diamond’s side 19-14 up at the interval.
The second half was a quieter affair, MacGinty and Harlequins replacement fly-half, Marcus Smith, traded penalty’s before Kyle Sinckler was sin-binned for an off the ball incident.
Sale failed to fully take advantage, but six more points for MacGinty, along with a second Harlequins yellow card, this time for Matt Symons, saw them home.
The victory keeping the Sharks in with a chance of winning their first Premiership crown since 2006.
Photo Credit: Sale Sharks