A late penalty try saw the Devils snatch a dramatic 17-12 Betfred Super League win over Warrington at the weekend.

The match was settled in the 72rd minute on Saturday (April 27) when Danny Walker grabbed Ryan Brierley to stop him grounding Nene MacDonald’s chipped kick.

Before this, it had been a one-point game throughout the second half, with Marc Sneyd’s drop goal late in the first half giving Salford a one-point edge until Stefan Ratchford’s 53rd-minute penalty tipped the game in Warrington’s favour.

Salford had led through Tim Lafai’s early try, but James Harrison and George Williams turned things around before Joe Mellor brought the Devils level on the half-hour mark.

The victory moves Salford up to sixth, while Warrington missed their chance to move level with St Helens and Catalans Dragons at the top of the table.

The Devils suffered an early blow when King Vuniyayawa went off for a concussion check from which he would not return just nine minutes in, prompting Gil Dudson to come on to face his parent club.

The veteran prop was quickly into the action as Salford pushed forward, taking the lead through a fine try from Lafai, who burst down the left side, twice holding off Ratchford and then Matty Nicholson to score his third try of the season.

There was a rarity as Sneyd the conversion but Salford quickly came again as Brierley raced forward, only to be caught in two minds 10 yards from the line, missing MacDonald with the pass.

Momentum then swung with Lafai guilty of a high tackle on Josh Thewlis, quickly punished when Harrison trundled over the line all too easily, with Ratchford kicking the conversion to put Warrington ahead.

Matt Dufty should have grounded Williams’ kick in the 25th minute as the game opened up, however this didn’t matter as Williams scored an opportunistic try of his own within seconds, chasing down his own kick and sneaking past Brierley to ground it in the corner.

There was a swift response from Salford as they punished a Warrington turnover, with Mellor diving over next to the posts to allow Sneyd to level the scores.

And the scrum-half gave the Red Devils a narrow advantage at the break as he kicked a drop goal 90 seconds before the break.

Salford were on top to start the second half but could not force it over, and paid the price in the 53rd minute when Ratchford kicked a penalty to turn a one-point deficit into a one-point lead.

Warrington were hoping for another turning point but then lost young half-back Leon Hayes to an injury, with the 20-year-old exiting on a stretcher after a lengthy break.

When play resumed, both teams went close – Brierley came up just short at one end before Paul Vaughan crossed the line but failed to ground the ball at the other, and it would be decided by the late penalty try.

(Text credit: Ian Parker)

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