Oulton wreck Rovers cup outing
Oulton Raiders .. 16 (10)
Sharlston Rovers .. 6 (2)
BARLA National Cup Round 2
Rovers hopes of a good run in the BARLA National cup game crashing to an end at the weekend when local hosts Oulton Raiders edged a closely thought encounter which was nearly lost to the weather.
With many local fixtures caught out by the unexpected cold snap the game attracted a large crowd for a hugely anticipated battle, the players of both sides didnít disappoint either with a down to the wire skirmish.
Both sides wanted to make a big impact on the game going into every drive and tackle harder than the previous but Rovers were caught out when a tackle rose high. Oulton loose forward Mark Holmes took the opening points adding the easy penalty goal.
Rovers managed to pull back square within 20 minutes as Craige Miles went over the line but had the ball stripped on his to grounding, Tommy Malyan added the equalising penalty.
Now level pegging Rovers began to chip away at the hostís sturdy defence with Sean Emblem leading the way from the front. Rovers attacking arsenal was soon to receive a drastic lose when hooker Carl Saville was had to retire injured with what turned out to be after a night in hospital, broken ribs and damaged cartilage that will see him out for several weeks.
If that wasnít enough of a loss Craige Miles had to retire too with a recurring knee strain. Rovers missing 2 key playmakers kept up the pace thanks to the Rovers forwards Waddle, Hall and Emblem who never took a backwards step for the full 80 minutes.
Rovers bad luck continued when with only 3 minutes until the half time interval a deep clearing kick bounced fortunate for substitute Alan White to collect and score a Holmes converted try.
Clearly shaken from the against the run of play try, Oulton broke the length of the field from the restart but good back tracking from Maskill and Davies brought him down short. With Rovers struggling to get back in the line Ferris was sin bined for holding on too long. With no time on the clock Oulton took the 2 points on offer with Holmes giving his side an 8 point lead going into the break.
With a man down Rovers dug in and weathered the storm for the opening 10 minutes and when back to a full complement attacked to pull back the scores. A clever kick and chase from Dean Gamble gave Rovers the ball back in Oultonís 10 metres tackling the collector into touch.
Jonathan Waddle who had proved a hand full throughout the match took the ball from the base of the scrum and fended several defenders off on his way to the line to bring Rovers to within 4 points of the hosts.
Only a score behind Rovers looked to Gareth Davies for the all important try and for 20 minutes Rovers gave it there all to claw the score back to set up a grandstand finish. Several breaks from the prolific scorer put the crowds heart in their mouth with several half breaks but Oulton defended gallantly.
With 5 minutes remaining Oulton looked on the ropes but again held out Rovers who almost took advantage of an overlap but winger Sutton was held up short. Rovers cause worsened when Lee Maskill was sent off for a high tackle 2 minutes from time and that seemed to finish off Rovers chances of the comeback.
Oulton came up the field and on the last play sealed the win with a try from Lee Williamson, Holmes converted to take the passage into the next round. Emblem was undoubtedly the Redshaw Gardening man of the match with 80 mins of constant work in attack and defence.
With the Challenge and national cups put to bed for another season Rovers efforts now concentrate on retaining the league title and despite disappointing it may be a blessing in disguise. Title challengers Drighlington still have games in both competitions to play and Rovers will hopefully catch up, starting with a home tie this weekend verus New Earswick All Blacks kick off 2.30pm.
Gamestar : Sean Emblem never took a step backwards with a non stop 80 minute stint at prop.
Gamebreaker : Try saving tackle on Brian Sutton with 5 minutes remaining wich would have tied scores.