Long looks to strong club squad for annual run-in
It wouldn’t be a regular Sharlston Rovers season if the close to the season wasn’t strewn with a hectic fixture calendar and of course the annual cramming of district local cup games. This season is no different as the club enters the last “scheduled” month with a possible 16 matches left to be fulfilled.
Luckily for Rovers the club has a strong nucleus of players and head coach Gordy Long is looking to the A’ team players to lend a hand to get the season closed. The Rovers A’ team have only 2 league games to complete their unaffected 4th place Pennine division 2 finish before a grand finale to the season on Saturday 5th May in the Wakefield ARL Talbot & Falcon Cup final versus Normanton Knights A at Belle Vue Stadium.
The first team however have 7 league fixtures to fulfil, alongside 3 local cup games and the big National cup semi-final match at home to Bank Quay Bulls if as expected BARLA award the abandoned quarter final tie to Rovers. The Pennine Champions title is now out of reach with Drighlington out front on 30 points and Sharlston trailing by 15pts. With only 14pts available for Rovers the chase for the top will be taken up by Hunslet Old Boys and Queens who have their own fixture pileups to contend with, both teams with 8 matches left to play each.
Rovers A will be back in action after a 2 week layoff hosting Illingworth this weekend, leaving only Thornhill left to play at home before their May 5th cup final. To stop the players from going rusty before the final Long will look to players to step up into his first team to help fulfil some fixtures.
Long said “The A’ team have a strong squad of 23 who have been vying for a spot in their matches and we too have about 20/21 so we will mix the players up as the run-in approaches. Obviously it’s a difficult position to be in with the amount of rugby still to play but I’m confident Jonny Brewerton has prepared the players well.”
A’ team coach Jonny Brewerton said “We are a club and we train as a club, we try and keep our moves and calls the same so our players should be able to fit into the type of rugby Gordy wants to play. We have a big cup final to play ourselves so we don’t want to go stale and these extra games will help me choose the players who are on form for the final.”
Rovers first team will this weekend travel to West Bowling but will be without Danny Glassell, Sean Emblem and Lee Maskill. All 3 players were charged by the RFL Match Review Panel for an incident put on report at the close of their Challenge Cup match at Doncaster.
All players entered an early guilty plea which reduced their sanction to the lower guideline, Glassel and Maskill will both miss 2 games and Emblem who was dismissed in the incident received 1 match suspension.
The bans begin immediately meaning Emblem will just miss this weekends match and Glassell and Maskill will be unavailable Saturday and also for Wednesday night’s match at Wibsey Warriors.
HOME – Hunslet Old Boys, Queens, St Joesphs, West Bowling
AWAY – West Bowling (07-04-2012), Wibsey Warriors (11-04-2012), Queens
HOME – Illingworth (07-04-2012) Thornhill Trojans
Unison Presidents Cup
Quarter Final – Ackworth Jaguars v Sharlston Rovers KO 12pm
Semi Final – Upton v Ackworth or Sharlston TBC
Final – Westgate Wolves v (Upton v Ackworth or Sharlston) Sunday 6th May, KO 2pm, Belle Vue
Brian McDermott Memorial City Plasterers Cup
Final - Sharlston Rovers v Westgate Wolves, Wednesday 25th April, KO 7.30pm, Belle Vue Wakefield
Talbot & Falcon Cup
Final - Sharlston Rovers A v Normanton Knights A, Saturday 5th May, KO 2pm, Belle Vue Wakefield
BARLA National Cup
Semi Final – Sharlston Rovers v Bank Quay Bulls*, Saturday 21st April, KO 2pm
Final - Sharlston Rovers or Bank Quay Bulls v SIddal or Queens, Saturday 2nd June