AFTER just one week of the English National League play-offs, the frontrunners are already starting to pull away following matches at Leyton SCORE Centre on Sunday.
Salford are top of the table after beating Cambridge 25-19 but had a tough job in battling past their southern rivals, who were holding them 9-11 at half time. Ryan Goodwin scored five goals for Salford, while Chris Bentz also netted five for Cambridge.
Elsewhere, third-placed Ruislip Eagles beat Manchester 32-19.
Last year defeat against Manchester at the exact same stage of the competition cost the Eagles the National title.
But on Sunday the Eagles did not make the same mistake. Although the start of the game was slow and marred by several offensive mistakes and technical faults, the Eagles regrouped and started taking control of the game a few minutes before the half time break when the score was 16-12.
Without complacency, they started the second half dominantly and used the depth of their bench to increase the gap. The defence appeared focused and solid around the goalkeeper Andrius Rinkevicius who conceded only seven goals in the second half.
Christin Nguelo with seven goals finished top scorer for the Eagles, but at the end it is a good collective performance that allowed the Eagles to take a clear victory 32-19.
In other matches, London GD maintained second spot with a 36-20 victory over Leeds Hornets.
The play-offs continue on March 11 at Greenbank Sports Academy in Liverpool with Salford v Ruislip, Manchester v London GD and Leeds Hornets v Cambridge.