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Super League: Salford City Reds secure shock 21-20 win over Huddersfield Giants
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Marc Sneyd kicked a late drop-goal to secure basement boys Salford a dramatic 21-20 victory over high-flying Huddersfield on Saturday.
The Giants, who missed the chance to return to the top of Super League following their defeat, were never ahead in the contest but had hit back to level at 20-20 entering the closing stages.
However, Sneyd settled the contest eight minutes from time with a one-pointer to secure the City Reds only their second league victory of the campaign.
Salford handed a debut to Lee Gaskell, signed from St Helens on a season's loan exchange with Stuart Howarth on Thursday, and the 22-year-old centre could not have made a better start as he put his new employers ahead with a superb fourth minute try as he raced over from 40 metres.
Sneyd added the conversion and a break from the same player almost brought a second try for the hosts, although Huddersfield could have drawn level had Shaun Lunt delivered a more accurate pass to Eorl Crabtree.
It proved costly as Salford added a second touchdown from Jodie Broughton who collected Liam Foran's long pass to cross unopposed in the corner and make it 10-0.
Huddersfield did get on the scoreboard when the lively Lunt supported a slick handling move involving Danny Brough, Brett Ferres and Joe Wardle to score under the posts midway through the first half.
But Salford were playing with plenty of fluency and a smart offload by former Giant Steve Wild enabled substitute Gareth Owen to put Ashley Gibson over just before the half hour.
However, an Owen error shortly before the half-time siren gave Huddersfield renewed impetus and, although an ankle tap from Theo Fages denied Crabtree, it proved a temporary reprieve as Jermaine McGillvary went over from Leroy Cudjoe's pass to cut the interval gap to 14-10.
Scott Grix put Huddersfield on the attack from the restart with a long-range burst, but Salford opened up a 10-point lead when Jordan James charged onto Owen's pass to scatter defenders and blast over with Sneyd tagging on the conversion.
Crabtree caused plenty of problems for Salford with his strong running and Huddersfield clawed back to 20-14 with Craig Kopczak going over - although there was a suspicion of a forward pass in the build-up.
Brough surprisingly hit the post with the straightforward conversion but then added the extras to his own try after a Reds defender palmed down Ferres' pass. But, with the scores tied, it was Sneyd who had the last word.
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Super League Table
|9||Hull K R||27||23|
|10||Salford Red Devils||27||23|
|13||Bradford Bulls *||27||10|
|First Utility Super League|
|Thursday 5th February|
|20:00||Widnes vs Wigan|
|Friday 6th February|
|20:00||St Helens vs Catalans Dragons|
|Saturday 7th February|
|15:00||Warrington vs Salford|
|Sunday 8th February|
|15:00||Huddersfield vs Hull|
|15:00||Hull K R vs Leeds|
|15:30||Castleford vs Wakefield|
|Thursday 12th February|
|20:00||Salford vs St Helens|
|Friday 13th February|
|20:00||Hull vs Warrington|
|20:00||Leeds vs Widnes|
|20:00||Wigan vs Huddersfield|
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