Rovers into May day final
Sharlston Rovers .. 34
Halifax Irish .. 6
Pennine Presidents Cup - Semi Final
Sharlston Rovers put the disappointment of last weeks exit in the BARLA National cup behind them and got back to winning ways as they booked their finalists spot in the Pennine Presidents cup. Rovers will now face West Bowling A in the final at Dewsbury Rams Stadium on bank holiday Monday 4th April as the Bradford side prevailed over local rivals Crigglestone All Blacks.
Rovers gain the chance to retain the trophy for another year having seen off last seasons Premiership champions Halifax Irish, it wasn’t all plain sailing though with Rovers only holding a 6 point lead at the interval.
The hosts did start the stronger though as Gareth Davies opened the scoring with a move well finished in the corner. Rovers moved into a more commanding position as Chris Hill crossed in the corner before shortly after Thomas Wandless backed up Jonathan Waddle to race from half way and beat the full back to the corner. With only 5 minutes left until the interval and against the run of a dominant first period, Irish raised their hopes of a fightback as a lapse in concentration allowed Martin Silcox to dance under the sticks for a self converted try.
The opening exchanges of the second half were much more fierce and the game see-sawed into the favour of the Irish as the late first half try seemed to lift their spirits. It took a resolute and determined defence to keep the visitors out and on several occasions they were held up over the line with one occasion the ball was ripped out in the act of scoring to save the points.
Having weathered a 15 minute spell of attack Rovers began to regain control on the back of hard work from James Lockwood, Craig Miles and Jonathan Waddle. The game turned on the hour mark as Rovers began to tire having struggled to contain Lockwood and Booth who refound his earlier season form.
It took the efforts of captain Craig Miles to break the deadlock with a virtuoso break from half way, Ferris added the first goal of the match. The hefty collisions began to take their toll on the Irish as several players picked up injuries and Rovers turned the screw in the final 10 minutes with Sean Emblem and Carl Saville crossing before Davies bagged his brace to close proceedings, Ferris converting 2 efforts.
The league run in starts this weekend as Rovers struggle to finish the remaining 8 league fixtures before the deadline of the start of May. A midweek fixture this week (Tues 31st) versus St Joesphs will see them prepare their game plan in wait for one of the big ones as they host Drighlington for the battle to take the Pennine Premier title on Saturday, kick off 2.30pm. A short break for the players will then see them at home midweek as Keighley Albion make the journey over for a 7.30pm KO on Tuesday 7th.