SALE FC slipped to a 24-10 home defeat to Ampthill in appalling conditions at the CorpAcq stadium last Saturday with the temperature just above freezing and driving rain  adding to the challenge.

On 14 minutes, Ampthill hooker Aleki Lutui had the first score of the National League One clash from a lineout inside the Sale 22.

Sale continued to work hard, though, and Kieran Wilkinson added three points from a penalty on 21 minutes.

Six minutes later, Ampthill’s Will Foster ran clear to cross the line, then Sam Hanks scored under the posts.

James Pritchard added the extra points to both tries, extending the Ampthill lead to 19-3.

After some early pressure at the start of the second half, Sale began to take the initiative with Parkinson, Odogwu and Briggs all taking the attack to the visitors.

They were finally being rewarded with a try from Griffiths on 50 minutes following relentless pressure from the hosts, Wilkinson converting the try.

In spite of the worsening conditions, both teams gave every ounce of effort, effectively cancelling each other out until, on 66 minutes, an Ampthill penalty came on the Sale five-metre line from which they were able to maul, sucking in the home defence then freeing up full-back Foster to score his second try, converted by Pritchard.

Still willing to get back in the match, Sale again took the game to the visitors whose robust defence stood firm, winning a penalty on 72 minutes which Pritchard converted.

There were no more serious scoring attempts and Ampthill ran out winners, but both teams deserved credit for the skill and effort they displayed in the miserable weather.