Rovers A' bow out of Presidents Cup
Sharlston Rovers A .. 10
Knottingley Rockware .. 28
Pennine Presidents Cup - Prelim Round
Rovers bowed out of the Pennine presidentís trophy at the 1st hurdle but not without a fight against higher league opponents Knottingley Rockware. Rovers took the field full of confidence despite losing 2 players to 1st team call upís and took the game the visitors from the off.
With a good completion rate Rovers were competing with the visitors in most areas and were unfortunate not to score after 8 minutes when Taylor went close out wide.
Rovers stunned the visitors and took the lead after 11 minutes when good work from Palmer and Gallagher allowed Taylor some space and he released a well-timed ball for Hampshire to crash over with Hill adding the extras. Rockware then realised they were in a match and started to control the tie with a good offloading game putting the Rovers on the back foot and only some desperate scrambling defence kept the line intact.
Woodward, Edwards and Hill led the way on defence for the home side but the relentless pressure saw the visitors level the match on 22 minutes with a converted score. A 2nd converted effort 2 minutes later confirmed the visitors were hitting form and Rovers were struggling to keep the big forwards at bay. On 30 minutes Rockware increased the advantage with a 3rd converted effort as another strong run from the forwards led to a score out wide.
Rovers desperately tried to stem the flow of points and looked as though they had managed this until the 38 minute mark when again strong running saw the visitors score this time too far out for the extras.
At the start of the 2nd half Rovers showed their character and fought their way back into the match with some good work from Hill and Thaler creating openings for Whitehouse and Garfitt but the Rockware line stood firm.
Rovers kept playing some good rugby and as the game wore on both defences stood firm until 63 minutes when Rockware stretched the lead with a converted effort again out wide.
Rovers kept going and good work from Gallagher and Hill saw Reville go close with Hawkins and Hirst both unlucky not to score after strong running saw them get near the line.
Rovers were rewarded for their never say die attitude and enterprising play on 70 minutes when Thalerís long ball saw Gallagher in space and his superbly timed kick enabled Shaw to crash over in the corner for an excellent try, too far out for the extraís. The game which was played in good spirit throughout then closed out with no further points scored but some good rugby from both sides.
Rovers will take some positives from the match as there were some good performances against a powerful and experienced outfit.
Best for the Rovers side were Woodward, Taylor, Chris Hill and Thaler with Palmer taking the MotorCity motorists Centre sponsored man of the match award for an excellent effort on the day.
Rovers have another tough outing this week where they travel to League leaders Methley Royals players meet at 12.00 at the clubhouse, bus leaves 12-30 for a 2-00pm kick off, supporters welcome.