Double denied by much changed opponents
Sharlston Rovers ‘A’ .. 16
Ovenden ‘A’ .. 26
Pennine Division 3
Rovers came up short in this fixture against a strong Ovenden side that were a much different outfit from the previous week’s side with their 1st string not having a match. Rovers started brightly and went close through Byrom in the opening set after some good work by Simpson and Greenbank.
Rovers hit the front after 8minutes when a well worked scrum move saw Smith and Hill put Kavanagh over in the corner with Hill converting from the touchline. Rovers kept the pressure on and were unlucky not to score again through Shaw after a good kick from debutant Childs and Cooper went close when supporting Greenbanks good break.
Ovenden were playing an expansive game and went close to levelling when the prop forward offloaded in the tackle and only a desperate last gasp effort from Byrom prevented a touchdown. Ovenden scored on 15 minutes following a mistake by Rovers on the 1st tackle deep in their own half and that was to be Rovers downfall throughout the day with unforced errors time and again leading to scoring opportunities for the visitors, who accepted without complaint.
Shaw made a telling break from deep and was just stopped short then Heath had a try wiped out for an alleged infringement with Rovers cause not being helped with injuries to key players at a crucial stage of this match.
Ovenden were in front on 22 minutes when capitalising on yet another Rovers mistake and the home side seemed to press the self destruct button for a 20 minute period allowing the visitors to take control of the game. Rovers concede a penalty when on the attack and 2 plays later were another 6 points down as the visitors scored a well worked try out wide following excellent work from the No 8.
Ovenden extended the lead 10 minutes after the break when a knock on by Rovers was punished by the visitors and they now had a commanding 14 point lead. Smith and Palmer worked hard to get the home side back into the game and an improvement in the ball control and completion rate saw Rovers clawing their way gradually back into the match.
Byrom went close following good work from Gallagher and Heath was unlucky not to score when supporting Shaw’s excellent break. Hill made a crucial break through the middle and he offloaded to the supporting Simpson who galloped clear for a well deserved score, Hill converting and Rovers were now looking good for a comeback.
The home side’s hopes were dashed shortly after however when sloppy marking close to the line saw the visiting hooker scamper over and the game was all but done at this point.
Rovers pulled a score back when Hill capped a fine display to score out wide with 5 minutes remaining leaving a 10 point deficit but that was to be too much as the visitors closed the game out with some strong defence.
Best for Rovers in a mixed display were Smith Greenbank and Hill with Byrom taking the Alarm and Security services sponsored man of the match award.
Next game is Home v Boothtown Terriers, 14-11-09 kick off 2-00.
Players meet at 12-30 at the clubhouse.