Rovers A' hold on for amazing victory
Odsal Sedbergh 24
Sharlston Rovers ‘A’ 26
Pennine Division 3
Rovers under strength injury hit side pulled off an amazing victory against a strong Bradford based Odsal outfit in a game played in extremely difficult conditions.
The hosts chose to play up the hill into the wind in the 1st period and that decision looked to be a wise one as both sides struggled with the conditions, Odsal seeming to adapt the better opening the scoring with a try out wide after 6 minutes. Rovers hit back on 10 minutes when good work from Hopton enabled Byrom to crash over in the corner to level the score.
A mistake from the restart allowed the hosts good field position and only good defence from Smith and Pajor kept the line intact. Rovers went close through Shaw before Odsal crashed over for a converted score on 15 minutes. Rovers again showed their resilience to level the scores 2 minutes later when Kelly displayed remarkable agility to squeeze his way under three would be defenders to score, Hill converting.
Odsal again took the lead when soft marker defence let in the hosts for another score and this topsy turvy game continued when Whitehouse finished off a well rehearsed move to level the scores once again.
Rovers then hit the front for the 1st time when evergreen prop Palmer smashed his way over with Hill crucially tagging on the difficult conversion which ultimately would be the difference between the 2 sides. Odsal reduced the arrears to 2 points with an unconverted score moments before the welcome half time break.
Rovers knew they had to dig deep to have any chance of holding out the much larger home pack in the 2nd period and with superb defence led by Smith, Golec and Whitehouse they stuck to their task throughout a difficult 40 minutes.
Time and again the home pack battered the Rovers line and time and again their efforts were repelled in a real backs to the wall showing from the injury hit young side. Rovers had the lead and they were not prepared to surrender it at any cost, and as the game wore on the home side’s desperation and frustration began to show, allowing Rovers the chance to seal the game themselves with some excellent breakaway runs from Heath, Kavanagh and Byrom all relieving the pressure on the Rovers line.
With time ticking away Gallagher and Simpson combined well to give Hill the space he required to show his neat footwork close to the line and the young scrum half darted his way over for a superb self converted score to give Rovers an 8 point cushion with 5 minutes remaining.
Odsal were fortunate to get the rub of the green when a suspect forward pass led to the home winger scoring and the conversion from the touchline meant a frantic last 2 minutes as the hosts threw everything at the Rovers line in an attempt to steal the game, it was not to be however as the proud Rovers defence held firm to secure an excellent victory that showed all that is good about this determined side.
Best for Rovers in a brilliant team effort were Golec, Byrom and Whitehouse, with Hill taking the P and S Groundworks.