Rovers avoid Sharks grasps for final place
Norland Sharks .. 4
Sharlston Rovers .. 12
Yorkshire Cup Semi Final
Sharlston Rovers are into their third consecutive Yorkshire cup final after being pushed all the way by Hull & District premier side Norland Sharks. A youthful optimism from the hosts drove for the giant killing victory but Rovers showed their metal coming from behind to edge the victory.
Rovers looked to get on the front foot from the off and almost opened scoring early doors spreading the ball to the corners but infuriatingly Rovers couldnít finish the moves.
With the early pressure weathered the hosts began to show the form that had earned them a semi final place with some flowing passing, Norland too were guilty of failing to finish some certain tries on touchlines.
As half an hour of play past Norland made the break through to crack the deadlock as lively half back Dick McNeil got on the end of a flowing passing play from a fairly contentious scrum decision, with the Dewsbury official taking the view that Rovers were the last to touch a wayward pass into touch inside their own 10 meters.
Rovers were looking at going into the interval behind but with only a few minutes on the clock and being almost the length of the field from their opponents try line it looked like thatís how the half would end.
The center pairings of Davies and Grundy had different ideas however as Davies made the initial break from the scrum before offloading to Grundy to race from half way fending off the cover to go under the sticks, Chris Hill added the easy extras to give the current holders a slender 2 point advantage.
Having clawed back the lead Rovers started off the second half brightly and went close on several occasions Jones and Booth held just short and Davies forced into the flag in the act of scoring.
On the hour mark Norland thought they had regained the lead with a chip and chase from the half way but the touch judge indicted a forward pass in the build up and the official chalked off the score to the relief of the Rovers healthy support.
The near miss seemed to promote Roversí need to increase their lead, 10 minutes later and after some no-nonsense tackling from Bingham, Booth and Emblem Sharlston added the much needed cushion. Lee Maskill in his much preferred full back position was able to step into the line and cut inside under the posts and fend off several tacklers for the vital score, Hill added the extra to go 8 points clear.
Norland didnít give up hope and 5 minutes before time nearly added a score in the corner but Davies bundled the winger into touch to deny any chances of a last gasp comeback.
Andy Booth who if selected will be in his 5th Yorkshire cup final was instrumental in the testing victory and took the P&S Groundworks man of the match but credit must be given to his fellow pack men Bingham, Hall, Emblem, Wallis and Waddle who averaged in excess of 30 tackles each proving how hard the fixture was.
Rovers will now face Hunslet Old Boys in the final who cantered through their semi final 28-6 over Pennine Division 2 side Wibsey Warriors. The final is scheduled for Sunday 27th December at a probable venue of Featherstone Rovers.
This weekend another tough fixture awaits with a home local derby versus Westgate Wolves in the Pennine Presidents Cup first round, kick off 2pm.