Underdogs progress with Hawks haul
Sharlston Rovers A .. 22
Sheffield Hillsborough Hawks .. 10
Pennine Andrew Bennett Memorial Trophy
Rovers approached this Andrew Bennett Trophy Cup tie against high flying Sheffield Hawks full of confidence after recent performances and despite being underdogs put in a marvellous effort to stun the visitors with an excellent display on both attack and defence.
Rovers were keen to make amends for an early season loss at Sheffield and showed their determination from the off with some terrific hits from the home pack putting the visitors on the back foot , Edwards, Pajor and Timms leading the way and they were well supported by Whitehouse and Smith. Sheffield couldn’t contain the enthusiastic Rovers youngsters and the home side were making telling breaks at will.
Whitehouse and Pajor went close to opening the scoring following good breaks from Shaw and Hopton before Simpson made a good break and good support from Golec saw Hill crash over in the 17th minute. Good defence forced an error and from the resultant scrum Palmer supported Hills break and went close, with Hill darting over on the following play the ball to give Rovers an 8 point lead after 21 minutes.
Rovers were on fire at this stage and only desperate defence from the visitors stopped first Hopton then Hampshire from scoring but the inevitable score came when veteran Smith used his years of experience to crash over, Hill tagging on the extras. Rover had a near perfect completion rate at this stage and were well in command of the tie.
Sheffield had to come up with something to stem the onslaught from Rovers and they started to use their size to good effect and were soon putting the home defence under pressure but the Rovers stood firm and repelled the attacks. A mix up in the home defence saw the visitors speedy winger go over in the corner to give the them a way back into the game on the half hour mark but Rovers stepped up their game and were soon going close through Shaw and Dodson.
Hill broke and combined well with Shaw to put Golec through but a last ditch tackle from the visiting full back saw the ball spilled over the line. As is often the case from the restart the visitors raced back up field and scored from an astute kick although there was some doubt as to the actual try scoring, with the conversion putting the visitors within 4 points at the half time break.
The restart saw no respite for Sheffield as the Rovers switched from excellent play with the ball in hand to rugged no nonsense defence to keep the bigger visiting side at bay, Palmer, Pajor and Simpson leading the way and Gallagher, Golec and Hill marshalling the side on attack.
Rovers extended the lead with a penalty goal from Hill and he very nearly caught the visitors napping with a dummy drop goal attempt which resulted in Shaw almost scoring in the corner from the resultant kick.
Sheffield threw everything at the home side in a desperate attempt to get back into the game but strong defence kept them out. Rovers had been pinned in their own quarter for long periods when Hampshire made a stunning break and only a desperate cover tackle stopped him short, this lifted the Rovers to another level and the visitors realised their chance of any cup glory was over for another year as the home side wrapped the game up with Smith notching his 2nd of the day following Timms good break, Hill again converting.
Rovers were good value for their victory and there were some excellent efforts throughout the afternoon from Whitehouse, Timms, Simpson and Hampshire with Phil Hill taking the Alarm and Security services sponsored man of the match award for another livewire performance.
Next game is away at Halifax based Greetland All Rounders. Players meet at 11-45am at the clubhouse for a 2-00pm kick off.