SALE FC started the new year in style by dishing out a 31-17 drubbing to National League One Rivals Cinderford at Heywood Road.

And it was fly-half Kieron Wilkinson – recently selected for the England Under-20 squad – who was deservedly crowned man of the match after an impressive display.

Wilkinson opened the game with a try for Sale on two minutes, following a break from Cameron Redpath and a feed from Paolo Odogwu close to the posts and then converted.

Cinderford’s response was met with solid defence from Sale, the home side winning a penalty for a tackle infringement which Wilkinson scored in clinical style.

Again Cinderford looked to their pack to get a foothold in the game and were rewarded when captain George Porter was driven over the line, fly-half Pointon adding the extras.

Within minutes, Sale's extra pace in the backs proved too much for the Cinderford defence, a superb pass by Nic Dolly found Odogwu who punctured the back line before slipping Docherty in to score in the corner.

A 15-minute period of sustained pressure from Sale concluded when Cinderford's number eight attempted to run the ball clear from the base of the scrum but was well policed by the Sale back row, forcing a hurried clearance which was charged down by second-row Matt Postlethwaite.

A second attempt to clear the ball upfield only succeeded in finding a well-positioned Rawcliffe who ran back at the Cinderford line, beating several defenders before crossing for another Sale try which was converted by Wilkinson to take the score to 22-7 at half time.

With a minute of the restart, Sale won a penalty which Wilkinson slotted home from distance.

The visitors regrouped and began to apply some pressure on the Sale defence with back-row forward Jack Shields heavily involved taking the game to the home side.

Another penalty award to Sale, this time for a high tackle, was despatched by Wilkinson, maintaining the pressure on the visitors.

Cinderford gained some reward for their forward effort when, following a line-out and  a well-executed rolling maul, Nathan Taylor scored a try which was unconverted.

Another penalty for Sale on 60 minutes following a good break by Redpath was despatched by Wilkinson taking his points tally to 21.

Sale continued to withstand all attempts by Cinderford to take something from the game eventually succumbing to a try by winger Sam Smith who touched down near the corner flag, but the game was won.