Rovers leave it late to secure National final spot
SHARLSTON Rovers booked their place in the final of the BARLA National Cup for the second year running thanks to a dramatic 36-32 victory over Bank Quay Bulls at Weeland Road on Saturday.
Gordy Long’s men, who won the competition for the first time last season, will travel to the Woodlands Memorial Ground, Fylde, in June to take on either Siddal or Queens, who play their semi-final on Saturday, in the final.
They had to do it the hard way, with Warrington-based Bulls leading 32-24 going into the last ten minutes.
Rovers were always going to battle until the end to defend their crown and late tries from Geoff Hick and Carl Saville sent them through.
Bulls led early on before the hosts hit back with tries from Tom Wandless and Tommy Malyan, Ian Jackson converting both. It gave Rovers the momentum and Jackson added a penalty before Malyan added his second try to give the hosts an 18-12 half-time lead.
It took the visitors just three minutes to get back on level terms on the restart but Bulls barely had time to celebrate before Rovers regained their six-point cushion through an Adam Saynor try.
But a triple strike from Bank Quay turned the game upside down and put the visitors seemingly on-course for a trip to Blackpool in the final.
That was until Sharlston’s late double salvo through Hick and Saville saw the hosts through to a second final on the spin.