Barmy army bounce back with Oulton win
Sharlston Rovers A .. 30
Oulton Raiders A .. 26
Pennine Division 3
This was a terrific game with the result in doubt right to the final whistle as Rovers overcame spirited local rivals Oulton Raiders A. Rovers controlling the match for about 60 minutes and Oulton having the better of the final quarter.
Rovers started brightly and went close through Hampshire in the opening minutes after a good break by Hatfield. Oulton looked strong on defence but the line was broken when Strong running S Whitehouse crashed over from C Hillís neat inside ball, Hill tagging on the extras.
The Raiders hit back on 15 minutes with an unconverted try after some sloppy defence from Rovers. Gallagher increased Rovers lead on 20 minutes when he jinked his way through the defensive line for an excellent score, Hill again converting. Golec and Timms combined well to send Cooper close to scoring and Joe Whitehouse almost scored after some good interplay with Bailey and Simpson.
The visitors reduced the arrears 5 minutes before the break with another unconverted score to leave Rovers just 4 points in front at the break despite their apparent dominance of the 1st half.
Rovers came out for the 2nd period in determined mood and a 3 try burst inside the opening 10 minutes saw the game almost wrapped up for the home side. S Whitehouse crashed over after supporting a terrific run from Hatfield that started deep in the Rovers half, and then completed his hat trick with another good try after latching onto Hills clever pass. Samís Younger brother was not to be overshadowed and after Simpson galloped 50 meters leaving 3 defenders in his trail a superb inside pass saw Joe Whitehouse crash over for an excellent score, with Chris Hill tagging on all 3 conversions the Rovers were 30 points to 8 in front after 51 minutes.
Rovers kept putting the pressure on with some good approach work by Gallagher and Edwards almost leading to a score for Hirst. Then came the incident that seemed to change the game completely, A kick through by Rovers on 57 minutes was caught in the in goal area and the quick thinking Raiders full back took a quick tap restart and raced 80 metres to score under the posts with the stunned Rovers side not reacting quick enough to the situation. This seemed to spur the visitors and the next 20 minutes saw Rovers on the back foot especially after a converted try on the hour mark. Rovers had to dig deep and big defence from Timms, Palmer and Reville stopped the visitors on more than one occasion close to the home line.
Simpson made a superb copy book tackle to deny a score after a long break and Bailey worked overtime on defensive duties and was well supported by Hill and Kelly. Raiders got within 4 points after a converted try with 5 minutes remaining and at this stage the momentum was with the visitors and it took a marvellous defensive team display to hold the line firm.
Rovers were good value for the win in the end and another good team effort saw Golec, Hatfield and Timms standing out while the Motor city sponsored man of the match award went to hat trick hero Sam Whitehouse.
Next game is the 2nd part of the Sharlston double header at home to Halifax based Greetland All Rounders Sat 02-04-14 KO 3-30pm following on from the 1st Team v Huddersfield St Josephs game that kicks off at 1.30pm