Final showdown set up for title race with Irish win
Halifax Irish .. 16 (10)
Sharlston Rovers .. 32 (8)
Pennine Premier League
Sharlston Rovers are all teed up for the final push in order to retain the Pennine Premier league championship. The weekends result where they eventually run out comfortable winners over Halifax Irish means that should Drighlington cross the final hurdle unscathed at Crigglestone this weekend, then the winner of the final league game on Wednesday 28th April at Sharlston will become champions.
Rovers nearly slipped up on a potential banana skin and were behind right up until the 65th minute as the hosts were on top most of the game. After a tense and evenly match opening half hour the game remained scoreless until Irish hooker Paul O’Byrne sneaked over.
Sharlston pulled back the scores minutes later when Andy Booth who had a top performance crashed over wide out. The tieing scores was to be short lived as when Rovers were attacking a loose ball bounced into the quickest Irish players hands who raced the length of the pitch for a converted score.
After the interval Lee Maskill jinked his way over the line for an unconverted try to come back within 2 points but Irish soon regained that buffer adding a converted try on the hour mark.
8 points down and with only 15 minutes to play Rovers showed great determination and spirit to put their first half failings behind them and started playing some flowing attacking rugby. Centre Ben Grundy opened the fight back for Rovers as they ran wider with deadly effect followed by opposite centre Brian Sutton minutes later this time the touchline conversion from Tommy Malyan putting the visitors in front for the first time of the afternoon.
Now on a roll Rovers didn’t let up and they made the important victory more comfortable running in 3 tries in the final 10 minutes to add gloss to the victory.
Loose forward Jonathan Waddle was the first of the trio to cross before Ben Grundy and Lee Maskill both completed their brace, Malyan only successful with one of the conversions.
Best for Rovers were Booth and Maskill with Steve Hall once again the lynchpin of the side earning the UNISON sponsored man of the match.
This weekend Rovers host struggling Keighley Albion kick off 2.30pm, the hosts will be keen to put together a good performance in preparation for the winner takes all midweek game on Wednesday 28th where Drighlington come to town for the league showdown 7pm kick off.