Brewertons boys outgunned at Birkenshaw
Birkenshaw .. 40
Sharlston Rovers A .. 18
Pennine Division 1
Short of numbers Rovers knew this would be a tough outing and had to start well against a big established division 1 Birkenshaw outfit. Excellent ball control in the opening quarter gave Rovers a good platform and Hill and Gallagher both showed good awareness when field kicking putting the home side on the back foot.
Rovers went close through Garfitt before Gallagher’s well timed ball saw Whitehouse burst through for the opening score on 9 minutes, Hill converting. Rovers again put the home side under pressure and were unlucky not to score through Hatfield after some good work by Taylor out wide. The home side were struggling with rovers quick line speed and determined defence and as a result were pinned in their own quarter before clever play from Golec saw him crash over from short range on 16 minutes, Hill again converting.
Birkenshaw were stunned into action by this and started to gain field position as their larger pack slowly wore down the much smaller Rovers unit. The Rovers defence held firm as wave after wave of attacks were repelled by some excellent scrambling defence and some good solid hits from the youngsters.
It was only a matter of time however until the line was breached and after a sustained period of pressure Rovers finally started to show fatigue and the home side reduced the arrears with a converted effort on 31 minutes. Again Rovers were put under pressure and the line was breached following first a mistake then allowing the home side a quick play the ball proved costly as they drew level on 37 minutes with another converted effort.
Sharlston were put under pressure by the home side straight from the restart and only good defence saved the day with Pajor and Woodward both making some good last ditch tackles, the line broke again on 46 minutes when again sustained pressure saw the home side cross for a 6 point score. Golec and Hill held up a player over the line and good defence from Edwards and Gallagher stopped another try but the visitors were having to do too much defending and this was always going to tell as the game wore on.
Rovers could not get their hands on the ball and although they kept the home side out over the next 10 minutes too many repeat sets and forced drop outs meant the defence was overworked with the end result being the inevitable avalanche of points as the home side scored 3 tries between the 53rd and 61st minute, 2 of these converted.
Rovers stemmed the tide for a period but on 70 minutes the home side wrapped up their scoring with another converted effort after the defence was stretched both ways.
Rovers despite losing players to injury showed their character throughout and were rewarded on 75 minutes when Hatfield broke through to score a good effort, Hill again improving with the boot.
There were good signs despite the heavy defeat however and with Rovers expecting a number of players to return from either work commitments or first team call ups they have definitely got some things they can build on after this gutsy but outgunned showing.
In a good determined team effort the best from the Rovers were Edwards, Hill and Golec with Whitehouse taking “The Suntan Shop Outwood” sponsored man of the match award.
Next game for Rovers is at home v Knottingley Rockware in the Pennine Presidents trophy 1st Round.
Players meet at 12-30 at the clubhouse for a 2-00pm KO.