Injury hit Rovers take away scalp
Undercliffe Wildboars .. 10
Sharlston Rovers ‘A’ .. 30
Pennine Division Three
Rovers under strength injury hit side pulled off an outstanding victory against all the odds with another superb team performance this time against Bradford based Undercliffe Wildboars. Despite fielding only 13 fit players Rovers showed their character and team spirit to start well and were in a determined mood from the off, taking the game to their hosts and were unlucky not to open the scoring when Shaw was stopped just short after some good work by Smith.
A rare mistake from the visitors allowed the home side to open the scoring when first to pick up a loose ball on 20 minutes but that was to be the only time Rovers were behind throughout the game. Gallagher put in an excellent kick for winger Kavanagh to collect and the youngster crashed over out wide for a good score. Palmer then finished off a well worked set piece play to give Rovers the lead, Haigh converting and the hard work from the whole side on defence put the hosts on the back foot time and again.
Big hits from Pajor, Barlow and Hopton pushed the home side deep in their own half and Smith punished them with some clever kicks. With conditions deteriating fast and the rain bucketing down the young Rovers side showed they can adapt to whatever the weather and a near 100% completion rate and an excellent kicking game from Haigh and Gallagher ensured the home side could not gain any ground and Rovers were always in control.
Rovers started the 2nd period in the same fashion and excellent work from Gallagher and Kavanagh saw Hopton go close, then Whitehouse and Simpson combined well to see Sharp stopped just short. Kavanagh scored his second try of the day when he finished off a well worked scrum move, with Haigh then adding a penalty goal shortly after to extend the lead.
Rovers were well in the driving seat now and were penned in the home side’s quarter for big chunks of this match. Haigh capitalised on sloppy defence when he used his clever footwork to leave the home side clutching at thin air to extend the lead with Haigh again converting.
Another penalty for the Rovers saw them with a comfortable lead going into the last quarter. Undercliffe hit back when scoring a try against the run of play and were looking for a way back into the match but big defence again and good quality play from the forwards saw Rovers march back upfield and Smith capped a fine performance with a good solo try when catching the home defence napping to seal the match.
This was an excellent team effort with some big standout performances from Smith, Pajor and Hopton, with Sam Whitehouse taking the Alarm and Security Services sponsored man of the match award.
Next week sees a tough cup encounter against division 2 leaders Newsome Panthers at home, Players meet at 12-30 at the clubhouse.