Gritty performance can't save Rovers from cup exit
Bank Top Harriers .. 52
Sharlston Rovers A .. 24
Pennine Division 3
A gritty and determined performance from Rovers against higher league opponents Bank Top was not enough as Injuries and first team call ups left them with just 14 to select from meaning this game was always going to be a step too far for the young Rovers side resulting in a second round exit from the Andrew Bennett trophy.
The hosts started strongly and blasted Rovers with 3 quick fire converted scores in the opening quarter as Rovers struggled to settle into the match. When they did find their way Rovers showed some neat touches and fought their way back into the contest with some determined defence and an excellent completion rate throughout the afternoon.
Phil Hill scored the first of his 2 tries after 16 minutes when he nimbly darted through a gap with Brother Chris converting. Despite the defensive efforts from Hopton, Simon Reville and Chris Hill Bank Top extended the lead with 2 further tries to effectively finish the game off before the break. Rovers gave themselves a lifeline when P Hill finished a fine move started by Sam Whitehouse with C Hill again converting just before the interval.
Rovers showed excellent character at the start of the 2nd period and went close through Shaw and Edwards with Pajor and Joe Whitehouse leading the way on defence. A lack of concentration saw Bank top score 5 minutes in then a further two scores before Rovers hit back with 2 tries of their own, the first when Gallagher and P Hill combined to send S Whitehouse crashing over and the second when quick hands from J Whitehouse and Pebbles saw Hampshire score in the corner. Conversions from both Chris and Phil Hill gave the score line a respectable until 2 late tries from the home side saw them top the 50 point mark.
Despite the struggle Rovers never gave up and will take great pride in their display. In a fine team effort the best from the Rovers were P Hill, S Reville and Pajor with S Whitehouse taking the P A Heating sponsored man of the match award.
Next game should be another tough encounter at home against league leaders Sheffield Hillsborough Hawks KO 2-30pm. Players meet at 12-30pm at the clubhouse.