Rovers edge West Leeds in 100 minute affair
Sharlston Rovers A ..38
West Leeds .. 24
Rovers progressed to the quarter finals of the Yorkshire cup where they will face Thornhill Trojans, with an outstanding late effort against a very strong West Leeds side after extra time.
Rovers started slowly and gifted the visitors their opening try after some sloppy play and some weak defending on 4 minutes. The more experienced West Leeds outfit were up for this and they extended the lead after 8 minutes with a converted score after Rovers were penalised near their own line and failed to react to a switch in play.
Rovers looked out of sorts and struggled to keep possession at times but as the game wore on they started to make some inroads into the visiting defence. Rovers reduced the arrears on 15 minutes when Timms crashed over from Richardson’s neat ball close to the line, Richardson converting. Matt Lingard and Kendall both made breaks but Rovers were struggling to contain the big centre from Leeds and he restored the visitor’s 10 point cushion on 20 minutes after a strong run.
Rovers again battled their way back into the game, with debutant Torvill and Kavanagh running hard, Shaw made a good long range break and Field made some big runs down the middle before Nicol latched onto Butterworth’s well timed pass to crash over on 38 mins and although the conversion was missed Rovers were still in the game despite not playing to their usual high standard.
Rovers regrouped and regained their composure at the start of the 2nd half taking the game to Leeds with some strong running from Shillaber and Golec, combined with some smart play from Wandless and Butterworth. West Leeds increased the lead again to 10 points when Rovers were punished for some poor ball control in their own half on 50 minutes but despite this the home side were increasingly looking the better side and as the game wore on their fitness saw them take control of the match.
Rovers then upped the effort to another level as they made some good breaks with Smith and Hawkins making good yards. Butterworth scored his first try for the Rovers on 60 minutes with Wandless converting to reduce the deficit to 4 points going into the final quarter. Rovers then seemed to try too hard and were guilty of forcing the play in an effort to take the match with all too often the final ball being of poor quality or forced.
With the game entering the final minute Rovers forced an error and Richardson was first to react picking up the loose ball and racing 50 yards to the line to score out wide and level the match. The conversion attempt was just short and the game closed with the scores tied at 20 v 20 and ten minutes each way extra time.
Rovers defence was the platform for the rest of the match as the visitors could not find a way through the determined line and as the much larger visiting side visibly tired the much younger Rovers outfit took control of the game. Smith gave Rovers the lead for the 1st time in the match on 84 mins after a strong run, Wandless converting from out wide.
Hawkins was next to cross with another outrageous dummy opening the visiting line and he strolled over on 88 minutes for another try converted by Wandless.
West Leeds threw everything at the home side in the 2nd period of extra time and were rewarded when the impressive full back broke through and his clever kick led to a score out wide for the wingman, no conversion leaving Rovers 8 points to the good at this stage. Whitehouse wrapped up the game with a try after a good line break in the final minute of the game with Wandless converting to see the Rovers win by 14 points although the game was a lot tougher than the score line would suggest.
Best for the Rovers side were Smith, Nicol and Garfitt with Golec taking the Motor City Motorists centre sponsored sponsored man of the match award for an excellent effort on the day.
Rover’s next game is at home v WEST BOWLING in the Pennine Presidents trophy round 2, 2-00pm kick off, players meet at 12-30pm at the clubhouse.