Rovers A' out at first hurdle
Rovers bowed out at the 1st hurdle in the Andrew Bennett Memorial Trophy but can hold their heads well high after this gutsy spirited performance against a strong Halifax based outfit.
The usual last minute withdrawals and 1st team call ups meant the Rovers travelled with just 14 players and were always up against it at the home of one of the stronger sides in Rovers division. A solid start from Rovers kept the line intact and there were some excellent defensive displays from Taylor, Golec and Whitehouse as Rovers frustrated their hosts with the no nonsense approach to the game.
An excellent completion rate with the ball ensured the hosts were limited to time in possession and Rovers were desperately unlucky not to score when Mathew Lingard went close following some good work by Kelsey and Shaw. Time and again the vastly experienced home side thought they had broken through only for the tenacious scrambling defence from the Rovers to haul them back. Rovers managed to keep the scoreboard to zero until the 20th minute when Boothtown hit a purple patch where they bagged 4 tries in 8 minutes as the now tiring Rovers defence was stretched all around the park.
The Rovers dug deep and had to be at their defensive best to withstand the onslaught that followed over the next 10 minutes from a side that had already beaten Rovers in the early season league encounter and with ex Halifax star Charlesworth pulling the strings Rovers were constantly on the back foot.
Boothtown ended the half with a further try in the closing minutes to give the half time score line an unflattering look at 28 v 0. This did not do justice to the work that Rovers had put in over the opening 40 minutes and the youngsters were determined to not throw in the towel in the 2nd period.
At the start of the 2nd half Rovers continued with some excellent defence but a poor call from the official led to the home side increasing their advantage on 45 minutes. This made Rovers even more determined and the next 20 minutes saw Rovers not only contain the hosts, but as the game wore on the home side realised they were in a match. Whitehouse crashed over after some excellent work from Hill and Golec to post Rovers 1st points of the day then Chris Shaw showed his pace to finish off an excellent break by Foster for the 2nd score.
Rovers were denied a 3rd try when Smith and Taylor combined well to send Pajor rampaging to the line and he was deemed to be held just short. Boothtown realised they were in danger of a superb Rovers comeback at this stage and were relieved when a long range break from the scrum half led to a try on 65 minutes to effectively kill off the match.
Rovers showed their character however and the try of the day came when Reville and Hirst worked a short blindside move to put Shaw through a gap and he raced 75 yards for a superb score leaving all the would be defenders trailing in his slipstream, Hill converting the relatively difficult conversion.
Boothtown were stunned into action by this and registered another 4 point score on 69 minutes when following successive back to back sets the Rovers defence was stretched once too often and the line was breached out wide. The home side posted the final score on 76 minutes when a speculative kick landed just right for them with the score being awarded despite the visitorís protests with regards to a player in an offside position ending up with the ball over the Rovers try line.
Ignore the score as this was a superb team effort of guts and determination on the day that saw some very good individual displays with Kelsey, Hirst, Taylor and Shaw looking good for the visitors. Chris Hill took the Monkhill Sandwiches shop sponsored man of the match award for an excellent all round display.
Rovers return to league action this week with a tough away game against rivals Selby Warriors.
Players meet at 12-00pm at the clubhouse for a 2-00 kick off.