Ref injury causes Drig match abandonment
Sharlston Rovers .. 12
Drighlington .. 22
Abandoned after 57 minutes, Referee Injury
The big battle in the Pennine premier league closed to a premature hault this weekend only 57 minutes into the fixture due to the match official Jim Whalley unable to continue due to a shoulder injury that turned out to be a broken collarbone.
The injury occurred several minutes earlier as Drighlington lead for the first time in the game 16-12. Drighlington problem causer Mulhearn broke from his own half and as Rovers retreated to cover his support the official collided with a Rovers defender as the ball was offloaded to Drigh stand off John Gallagher who went in under the posts. The referee awarded the try and allowed the subsequent successful conversion from Michael Sanderson but when lining up for the restart and after treatment from both teams physio’s he was unable to continue with the remaining 23 minutes of the game.
Last night (Monday 9th November) the Pennine management convened to decide the outcome of the game following a claim from Drighlington for the result to stand. The management decided that the game had not reached the required ¾ of the game and with the irregular nature of the last try and the close score, the game will be replayed in full at a later date.
Rovers made a commanding start to the game as they opened the scoring on the 5th minute to take a lead they would hold until the 50th minute. Prolific try scorer Gareth Davies unlocking the characteristic solid Drig defence, Tom Wandless added the much needed extras.
Drighlington replied 10 minutes later when Ben Nabozny scorched down the flank to score in the corner but fortunately for Rovers the conversion sailed wide. The arm wrestle continued as Rovers enjoyed periods of pressure and rock solid tackling from Bart Thompsen, Chris Bingham and Adam Jones kept any threat of Drigs attack at bay.
Fifteen minutes from the interval Rovers extended their lead with a sublime try setup and finished off by stand-off Tom Wandless who then went onto convert his own score to go 8 points in front.
Rovers couldn’t take that lead into the half time break as Lee Mulhearn bust over the line and his wingman Michael Sanderson reduced the arrears to just 2 points 4 minutes before the half time whistle.
After Sharlston looked dominant in the first half Drig came out the stronger in the second as they swung the lead into their favour for the first time of the game 10 minutes in, winger Chris Cowling sneaked in at the corner and Sanderson goaled from the touchline to go 4 infront.
Just before the hour mark came the try that caused the injury and the game came to a early close.
This coming weekend see’s Rovers in the last 8 of the Yorkshire cup where they host GMB Hull league leaders Norland Sharks, kick off 2pm. Last year Rovers were the visitors to the Sharks in the semis and after a tough encounter went on to lift the silverware for the second consecutive occasion.