Marc Sneyd

Marc Sneyd inspired Salford to a thrilling 20-18 win over St Helens as Paul Wellens’ visitors blew the chance to reclaim their place at the Betfred Super League summit.

Sneyd’s superb kicking set up tries for Deon Cross and Kallum Watkins and he added four more with the boot including the extras to Chris Hankinson’s late try that sealed two richly deserved points.

The 33-year-old had been front and centre to most of an engrossing contest, including a bizarre incident midway through the first half when he appeared to slice a penalty which Chris Atkin gathered to burst over the line.

However to Sneyd’s evident frustration, referee Jack Smith ruled out the effort on the basis that Sneyd’s kick had not constituted a legitimate effort on goal.

The Red Devils shrugged off the disappointment to go on to chisel out a third straight win after a week which mostly comprised speculation over the future of head coach Paul Rowley in light of links with Leeds.

Rowley’s men might have been forgiven for thinking it was not going to be their when they lost centre Tim Lafai to injury shortly prior to kick-off, then James Bell bundled through the middle to reach a Jack Welsby kick and put Saints in front with seven minutes gone.

Mark Percival stretched Saints’ advantage but for much of the rest of the first period it was the hosts who seized the initiative against a visiting side who looked lethargic and were let down by moments of indiscipline.

Salford capitalised on a high shot by Konrad Hurrell with a quick tap-penalty that saw Joe Mellor play a neat one-two with Shane Wright before sending Cross over for his first in the left corner.

Sneyd kicked Salford level, then dispatched another superbly-weighted kick to send Cross over in the corner for his second.

Cross capped a dream first half by bundling Jon Bennison into touch as the hosts reached the interval with a richly deserved 10-6 lead.

The visitors, looking to claim their fifth straight win the hard way, slowly swung the momentum in their favour and set up a grandstand finish when Lewis Dodd sent Curtis Sironen through a gap with 13 minutes to go.

Still Sneyd and Salford were not done, the number seven’s high kick once again eluding the Saints defenders and giving Watkins the chance to crash over in the corner and re-establish their two-point cushion.

A topsy-turvy clash went down to the wire as Percival levelled then burst onto Sironen’s off-load to put Saints back in front.

With golden point seemingly looming, Salford conjured one more moment of magic as Ethan Ryan charged down the right with five minutes to go and fed Hankinson who burst over amid raucous scenes and all-but sealed the visitors’ fate.

Author: PA Sport Staff

(Image of Marc Sneyd: Salford STUN St Helens late on | Salford Red Devils 20-18 St Helens | Super League Highlights)

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