Rovers A give Yorkshire cup finalists scare
Thornhill Trojans .. 34
Sharlston Rovers A ..12
Pennine Division 2
Rovers gave former conference giants and runaway league leaders an almighty scare here before succumbing to 3 late tries that flattered the hosts in this exciting division 2 encounter.
The final score does not reflect the effort put in by the visitors as looking to bounce back from last week’s cup disappointment the young Rovers outfit knew a good start was important and they took the game to the hosts from the outset.
Rovers went close when a clever Gallagher kick saw Lahr and Edwards almost scoring before excellent work from Phil Hill led to Rovers taking the lead on 8 minutes when his neat kick through saw Malyan beat team mate Hatfield in a foot race to notch the opening score, Chris Hill tagging on the extras from near the touchline.
If the home side were shocked by this they did not learn their lesson as the rampaging visitors tore through the home defence at will and only desperate last ditch tackles on Holmes and Shaw prevented further scores for Rovers. The home side forced 2 repeat sets in the Rovers half and were rewarded with a score out wide from a kick after 24 minutes and they must have thought they had broken the Rovers spirit at this stage. Rovers are a resilient outfit nowadays and hit straight back with Whitehouse and Golec both going close when chasing clever kicks from Phil Hill.
Rovers were unlucky not to increase the lead 4 minutes later when P Hill burst through a gap and darted for the line with only the desperate tackle from the home full back stopping him inches from the line. Hatfield and Edwards combined well to send Reville through a gap and he was stopped short and Hirst was unlucky not to get over the line following good work from Palmer and Timms.
Rovers finally got their reward on 35 minutes when Holmes capped a fine display with a strong run to the line where he scattered 2 defenders to score, Chris Hill again converting. Thornhill were looking desperate at this stage and they were struggling to break down the strong Rovers defensive line well marshalled by Gallagher, Medforth and Whitehouse as the young Rovers side worked hard to keep the score line at 12 v 4 to the break.
The opening 10 minutes of the 2nd period saw Rovers working even harder to keep the home side at bay but intense pressure and number of repeat sets saw the inevitable score after 49 minutes to bring the home side within 2 points. Rovers again took the game back to their hosts and were unlucky not to score when Shaw and Johnson combined well to send Holmes through a gap while Palmers clever chip over the defence deserved better than a scrum feed to the home side. Rovers then lost the ball in an attacking position on the 4th tackle and from the resultant scrum the home winger raced 80 yards to give the Trojans the lead for the first time after 59 minutes.
Still at 12 v 16 Rovers were looking good value and again took the game back to the Trojans with some enterprising play. Crucially on 65 minutes a quick tap penalty from the home caught Rovers offside and Rovers were again penalised but this time losing a man to the sin bin for an alleged professional foul.
The home side were quick to capitalise on this and scored again 2 minutes later to extend the lead by 6 points. Rovers were now starting to feel the effects of the day’s endeavours and inevitably fatigue led to two converted scores in the final 8 minutes to give the score line a harsh one sided look. Rovers were looking to have the last word however and the impressive P Hill put in a clever kick for Hatfield in the dying minutes and he was desperately unlucky not to score.
Thornhill may have taken the points but Rovers took all the glory and plaudits as the Trojans coaching staff were quick to acknowledge the Rovers performance showing their respect after the game with a number of tributes for the way the young side competed.
In a superb team effort the best from the Rovers were Holmes, Lahr and Medforth with P Hill taking the Boomerangs sponsored man of the match award.
Next game for Rovers is away at Bradford based rivals Odsal Sedbergh, players meet at 12-15pm at the clubhouse, coach leaves at 12-45pm for a 2-30 kick off.