SALE FC took a huge step towards safety in National League One with an impressive 31-22 victory over mid-table side Chinnor.

A penalty against Sale prop Simon Griffiths saw Chinnor’s Bertie Hopkin put three points on the board for the visitors, but Sale then forced two penalties in quick succession.

Captain Andy Hughes chose to go for the corner and was rewarded with a try from hooker Christian Taylor, converted by Keiron Wilkinson.

A yellow card for Sale’s Matt Postlethwaite then led to Chinnor’s Ben Thomas driving over the line, converted by Hopkin.

Despite being down at half time, Sale returned quickly to snatch a four-point lead with prop Dan Birchall scoring the try and Wilkinson converting.

As Chinnor tried to regain the initiative, Sale defended with discipline and determination, ultimately bringing about a penalty kick which Wilkinson fired deep into the opposition half.

From the resulting line-out, a break by winger Ed O’Keeffe took Sale to the try line but the ball was held up.

At the scrum which followed, a superb effort from the Sale pack dominated the opposition, forcing a penalty try.

The visitors rallied with an impressive forward effort taking them close to the Sale line.

From a scrum, Chinnor substitute Tom Burns broke from the base and, after a series of phases, the ball found Holland who scored, Hopkin converting.

Two minutes later a Wilkinson penalty restored Sale’s seven-point advantage.

As the match entered the final 10 minutes, Chinnor took advantage of a misdirected Sale line-out leading to wing-forward Joe Dancer with space to sprint 50 metres to the Sale line to score in the corner.

Hopkin did not add the extra points, though, leaving Sale with a slim two-point lead.

They rose to the challenge, taking advantage of a knock-on near the Chinnor 22.

Winning the scrum, Matt Bradley fed O’Keeffe and with Sale forwards in support, Postlethwaite took the ball to the line, the drive culminating with hooker Taylor scoring his second try of the match.

Wilkinson added the extras and, with time ebbing away, Sale closed the game out.