Rovers sneak Panthers win
Sharlston Rovers A 32
Castleford Panthers 28
Pennine Division 1
Roverís stop start season continues with another victory against a strong Castleford Panthers outfit in a nail-biting encounter where the lead changed hands throughout the game and result was in doubt up to the last few minutes.
Sharlston started brightly and took the game to the visitors with some enterprising play in the opening minutes, it was Panthers who took the lead however when a missed tackle close to the line allowed the visitors to cross for a 4 point score on 7 minutes. Both sides worked hard on defence with Hill and Woodward leading the way for Rovers meaning chances were few and far between until the 18th minute when superb passing between McHugh and Taylor saw Thaler showing his pace to leave the would be defenders trailing behind, Hill converting to give Rovers the lead. Panthers hit back and soon restored their advantage with another unconverted effort on 20 minutes.
Rovers again came back strong and good play from Pajor and Palmer allowed Golec space and he ghosted through the gap to score on 25 minutes, Hill again improving. Reville and Taylor made good yards and Wilson was unlucky not to score following a nice break by Taylor. Rovers were struggling to complete their sets and made life hard by constantly turning the ball over when in good field position. Rovers extended their lead on 34 minutes when Thalers well-timed ball saw McHugh burst through the line to score under the posts with Hill tagging on the extras.
Panthers showed their determination and came back strongly, Hatfield denying a certain try with a good cover tackle before the visitors reduced the arrears seconds before the interval with a score to leave Rovers in front 18 v 12 at the break.
At the start of the 2nd half both sides then settled down with some strong defence keeping the scoreboard stagnant until the 54th minute when the visitors levelled matters with a converted effort following some intense pressure near the Rovers line. Again the defences took control with Golec and Palmer leading by example closely followed by Hill and Gallagher. Rovers regained the lead when Wilson showed his pace to get outside his marker and score out wide on 63 minutes before Panthers took the lead with a converted effort after Rovers had again coughed up the ball in their own quarter. Rovers were putting pressure on themselves with some uncharacteristic unforced errors but made amends when Taylor broke through and his excellent chip over saw him regather and score in the corner to give the home side a 2 point lead with 5 minutes remaining.
Panthers again came back strongly and while chasing the game took one risk too many with McHugh snapping up a long cut out pass deep in his own quarter to race 80 yards and seal the game for the home side on 78 minutes.
Panthers were not finished though and were rewarded for their never say die attitude with an unconverted score in the last minute to bring them within 4 points, it was too little too late through and the home side had hung on for a deserved if extremely hard fought victory.
Rovers showed they can work for the full 80 minutes and will take a lot of positives from the match as there were some good performances from individuals while as a team they will know they have to improve the completion rate if they are to continue progressing in the right direction.
Best for the Rovers side were Hill, McHugh, Taylor and Wilson with Thaler taking the MotorCity Motorists Centre sponsored man of the match award for an excellent effort on the day.
Rovers will be looking to continue with their improved performances in the next game as they travel to local rivals and high flying Upton where they face another tough challenge.
Players meet at 12-00 am at the club house, bus leaves 12-20 for a 2-00pm kick off