Rovers Stun League Leaders
Morley Borough .. 10
Sharlston Rovers A .. 18
Rover’s youngsters stunned joint league leaders Morley with a superb display to take the spoils in this Division 1 encounter as they withstood the experienced home side’s physical and at times over aggressive approach to the match.
Keen to follow on from last week’s derby victory Rovers started well and took the game to the hosts with a quick tempo and a good completion rate giving the visitors a good platform to build throughout the afternoon.
With Medforth, Whitehouse and Golec leading from the front for the visitors Hill, Bettinson and Gallagher ran the show probing the home defence with a good tactical kicking display keeping the hosts pinned deep in their half for long periods. Tom and Nick Taylor showed good support as the visitors went close first through Edwards then Shaw. Rovers defence was in great form and the home side were becoming increasingly frustrated at their inability to break down the well drilled Sharlston line.
Morley tried to use their size to intimidate the Rovers youngsters but they were left floundering when Medforth showed excellent awareness to snap up a stray pass and race 80 metres for a well-deserved try on the half hour mark well converted by Gallagher. 4 minutes later Medforth intercepted in his own quarter and again raced up field but was just stopped short by a desperate cover tackle from the home full back. Rovers were not to be denied though and 4 plays later Bettinsons clever kick saw Hill react quickest and he scored under the posts for another Gallagher converted effort.
The home side had no answer to the Rovers speed and agility at this late stage of a tough 1st half and on 39 minutes Shaw and Medforth worked a short blind side move allowing Gallagher to crash over for a self-converted effort to give Rovers a deserved 18 v 0 lead at the break.
Morley came out in the 2nd period on a mission and quickly showed their intentions with an overly aggressive attitude putting Rovers under some intense pressure. The Rovers line was breached on 47 minutes after defending 3 consecutive sets giving the hosts a small glimmer of a comeback with an unconverted try.
Rovers suffered the loss of Hill and Smith to injury and were slow to adjust gifting the home side possession close to the Rovers line but some excellent goal line defence from Golec, Edwards and Bond kept the line intact. Rovers worked their way back into the home side half and were looking threatening when Bettinson put in a clever kick through but a late off the ball challenge saw him leaving the field with a head injury.
Morley saw their chance and kept plugging away, reducing the arrears on 58 minutes with a converted effort that set the tone for the closing quarter. Rovers are a determined outfit of late and showed their character as they withstood the home side’s barrage with some steely defence from the likes of Hirst and Palmer. Gradually the Rovers took the sting out of the home sides play and were soon back in command of the match. Gallagher and Taylor combined well and Edwards was stopped just short then Hampshire was unlucky not to score following Tom Taylor’s excellent break.
Morley threw everything at the Rovers line in the closing ten minutes but the youngsters kept their shape and repelled all attacks. Frustration again set in for the home side leading to a man being sent off in the closing moments for yet another late cheap shot. Rovers defence in the 2nd half showed they have done the hard work in both pre-season and during the opening part of this campaign and are now reaping the rewards.
For the 2nd week running the visitors showed a good awareness in closing out a game for a well-deserved victory.
In a superb team effort the best for Rovers were Phil Hill, Gallagher and Edwards with Golec taking the “Paul Askwith Heating” sponsored man of the match award for a non-stop effort.
Next game for Rovers is at home to Methley Royals and this should be another cracker of a game as Rovers look to continue their good form.
Players meet at 1-00 at the clubhouse, for a 2-30pm KO.