Rovers drop a point at Illingworth
Illingworth 14 v 14 Sharlston Rovers A
Rovers dropped a point here in a game they could and should have wrapped up before half time.
Following on from 2 excellent performances Rovers again started well and opened the scoring through Grundy after 7minutes when he burst his way through after a good run from Hill.
The visitors then put the hosts under some intense pressure and both Buben and Hampshire were unlucky not to score. The heat was a big factor in how the game was played with both sides struggling to catch any breath.
The hosts hit back and levelled the scores when Rovers were caught napping out wide before Rovers then took control with some good play allowing Golec and Cooper to go close.
Rovers had all the pressure and ball but the points would not come as the scrambling defence of the home side and often impatience by the visitors meant the home line remained intact.
Grundy and Lingard combined well as did Stubbs and Lahr to go close but it was not until the 33rd minute that the lead was restored when Golec crashed over after some good approach work from Whitehouse, Hill converting to send Rovers in 10 v 4 at the break.
Rovers again started the 2nd period well with a renewed determination and put the home side under pressure but as in the 1st period the pressure could not be turned into points as all too often the final pass went to ground.
Rovers increased the lead when Stubbs broke from inside his own half and sent Medforth on his way for a 50 yard footrace to the line leaving defenders in his wake.
Rovers who had been getting frustrated all afternoon then decided to stop doing the basics right and the home side gradually worked their way back into the match.
As the game progressed the home side went closer to scoring with a couple of close calls that should have given Rovers the wakeup call they required but the warning was not headed and on 68 minutes a soft converted try from the acting half put the hosts within 4 points.
With 5 minutes remaining another try levelled the scores and the hosts were now on a roll. Desperate defence kept them out on the next attacking set and a snapped drop goal attempt by Illingworth drifted wide.
Rovers were given a chance to take the points when awarded a penalty with 2 minutes to go but the long distance effort crept just wide. Illingworth had fought back well to take a share of the spoils but Rovers will be left disappointed by the final score line and the dropped point having dominated for much of the game.
In a mixed team effort the best from the Rovers were Medforth, Hill and Cooper with Gallagher taking the John Lingard properties sponsored man of the match award.