There may not be a Super League presence in Cumbria these days, but at Youth level, the visit up there is still exceedingly tough especially on the back of an arduous journey, whilst a warm welcome awaits every player once they set foot on the pitch.  For the Red contingent of our College U19s squad, last Wednesday, it was a most challenging of starts to their season.

“A two and a half hour journey at night time in nothing other than a minibus isn’t the best preparation for any game,” claims Coach, Danny Barton,” but the lads really showed up for one another.

“They are still only a young team, so we were up against it playing on a quite narrow pitch, at Askam,  with a slope on it, and a crowd of two hundred and fifty in attendance.”

With this being, for the vast majority of Salford players, their first encounter at this level, it is unsurprising that they were a little taken by surprise at the speed, intensity, and physicality, at which they were having to contend, in the early stages.

“After they had got over that initial shock, they quickly grew into the game, and in the second half were able to pull back a 22-4 half time deficit to get themselves within twelve points.  All our forwards stood up to the Barrow pack, which was a really big test of them because they were up against some very large individuals.

Salford’s points came from a total of five, two of which were scored by hooker Connor Aspey who, Danny insists, had an outstanding game,

“The first of them was a long-range effort which came from a break by captain, Will Mills, who found Connor in support on his outside, and once he got the ball no-one was going to catch him.  The second came after a quick play-the-ball from which Connor made a break, turned the fullback inside out, and scored under the posts.”

Sadly, in the most unsavoury incident in the whole match, Connor was the victim of a biting offence for which a Barrow player was sent off.

Salford’s other scorers were loose forward Dan Goddard from his own scoot as dummy half, Will Mills, and Sam Ayres.

“I was really proud of every player in the whole team and of their efforts out there on the pitch, and they now know what they are going to be up against throughout the season,” is Danny’s happy conclusion to their first outing.



Despite taking an early lead in their home match, the Black section of the College U19s found an even more overwhelming challenge awaiting them, once the visiting Carmel College got into their stride.

“It was a typical start-of-the-season performance, with players still getting to know one another, and one or two of them even playing in new positions,“ Danny explains.

“Centre, Ellis Snelgrove got us off to a fine start with a really good try down the left wing from inside his own half, but then the quality of the Carmel team, which you would expect from any St Helens side, started to come through, particularly on their left edge, to put them on top.

“Nevertheless, our lads never gave up, and we got another two tries in the second half, the last from hooker, Chad Wrigley, who dived over from dummy half.”

One of the most notable incidents in the game was a tremendous try-saving tackle from left winger, Will Timmins, who flew across from his wing to crash tackle a would-be Carmel scorer two or three metres from the line.  That tackle was every bit as good, and important, as a try because it was worth four points, in itself.

“The game has given us plenty to work on, which we want to be bringing into our next match, on Wednesday, against Warrington,” is Danny’s overall assessment.