Hatfield hat-trick gets Rovers A on the board
Sharlston Rovers A 30
Dodworth .. 4
Roverís finally got their 1st points of this campaign with a superb performance against a very physical South Yorkshire based Dodworth.
Both sides started the game eager to get their seasons started and the visitors looked strong in the opening exchanges although the warm weather was always going to suit the much younger home side the longer the game progressed.
Good defence from Rovers withstood the early onslaught from Dodworth with C Hill and Taylor leading the way for Sharlston. Rovers were on the score board after 10 minutes when Hatfield plucked P Hillís astute kick from the despairing grasp of the Dodworth full Back and he raced 30 yards to score, C Hill converting.
Rovers increased the lead on 16 minutes when superb passing between Chris Hill and Bettinson saw Hatfield showing his pace to leave the would be defenders trailing behind for another converted try. Rovers were determined not to lose concentration as is the norm and dug deep to repel the visitors over the next 10 minutes with some real dogged defence keeping the line intact, Pajor and Palmer showing their experience and leading by example and well supported by youngsters Taylor and Reville.
Rovers again came back strong and good play from Cucci and Hirst allowed Bond space and he went close to scoring. Rovers extended the lead when a strong run from deep by Foster coupled with a well-timed ball enabled Chris Hill to get round the outside of the cover defence and he scored a good self-converted effort on 30 minutes to give Rovers an 18 point advantage going into the break.
Dodworth were struggling to complete their sets and made life hard by constantly turning the ball over when in good field position to give Rovers plenty of possession which they made good use of and the home side were unlucky not to extend their lead on 38 minutes when Chris Lingard and Phil Hill combined to send Matt Lingard lose to scoring.
At the start of the 2nd half Dodworth were determined to come out strongly and after they were gifted possession following a rare Rovers error they made the most of their opportunity to reduce the arrears by 4 points when scoring on 45 minutes.
Rovers did not panic and a clever restart from C Hill saw the home side regain possession through Taylor and he was unlucky not to score after a good run towards the line.
Rovers then played a clever tactical game and pinned the larger visiting side deep in their own half for long periods with some astute kicking from Both Hills and Bettinson coupled with some excellent tackling from all in the Rovers camp. Time and again the youngsters repelled all from the Dodworth side with the visitors frustration becoming apparent as they were unable to break the determined Rovers defensive line, the penalty count heavily in Rovers favour as the game progressed easing any pressure on the Rovers line. Malyan and Hirst combined well and the latterís break almost led to a try for Hatfield but the final ball was harshly adjudged to have travelled forward.
Rovers extended the lead on 68 minutes when Phil Hill created and scored a superb solo effort with sibling Chris tagging on the extras. On 73 minutes Rovers completed the days scoring as Hatfield notched his 2nd hat-trick of the season when he left the visiting full back flat footed after another good break from deep.
Rovers showed they can work for the full 80 minutes and will take a lot of positives from the match as there were some excellent performances from individuals while as a team they have not played this well for a long time.
Best for the Rovers side were Chris Hill, Hatfield and Taylor with Tony Palmer taking the Edna Hill sponsored man of the match award.
Next up is another home game for the Rovers where they will be looking to back this performance up with something similar against Halifax based rivals Boothtown Terriers.
Players meet at 1-00 pm at the club house for a 2-30pm kick off