Rovers A' open new Years with Dalton comeback
Sharlston Rovers A .. 20
Dalton .. 15
Rovers got the New Year off to a winning start with a real hard fought victory against a tough Cumbrian outfit Dalton based on grit and determination and a lot of character.
Both sides started the game eager to get the points and the visitors looked strong in the opening exchanges although the boggy conditions would play a major part in this match suiting the much younger home side the longer the game progressed. Good defence from Rovers withstood the early onslaught from Dalton with Scott, Whitehouse and Field leading the way for Sharlston.
The visitors opened the scoring after 15 minutes when scoring a converted try following a period of sustained pressure. Rovers almost conceded a 2nd score on the next set but some excellent defence from Bowery and Palmer kept the line intact. Rovers hit straight back and scored 2 minutes later when a superb handling move saw a number of the backline involved before Lasserre put Foster over in the corner with a well-timed ball, Kendall converting to level the scores.
With both sides looking good on defence chances were limited and when Dalton were awarded a penalty on 35 minutes in front of the posts they regained the lead with an excellent strike from 30 yards out. Rovers looked slightly disjointed at this stage but managed to keep the line intact with some good scrambling defence to leave them 2 points adrift at the break.
Rovers regrouped and regained their composure at the start of the 2nd half taking the game to Dalton with some enterprising play and regaining the advantage with a good score on 55 minutes for winger Shaw after some good approach work by Foster and Hill.
Rovers were caught napping after conceding a penalty in their own half and the lead again changed hands with a converted try leaving Rovers 4 points adrift after 65 minutes. With their backs to the wall now the young side dug deep and showed remarkable character to claw their way back into the match. Shaw grabbing his 2nd score of the day after a good solo run from 30 yards out to level the match on 72 minutes, with Kendallís attempted conversion hitting the posts denying Rovers the lead.
Dalton again put pressure on the home line and after forcing a drop out worked their way to the Rovers sticks and the inevitable drop goal was snapped calmly by the visitors scrum half to seemingly steal the points with only 3 minutes left on the clock.
Roverís character and determination again shone through as Bowery regathered the ball from the restart and with time running out the next set was crucial. Rovers worked towards the posts and with the visitors expecting the drop goal attempt a set play from the forwards saw Whitehouse crash over under the posts for a deserved winning score, Kendall converting to give Rovers a 5 point cushion entering the final minute.
Rovers saw out the final minute with ease and showed they can work for the full 80 minutes and no doubt will take a lot of positives from the match as the effort shown was outstanding with 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 Field, Shaw and Hill with Whitehouse taking the Sharlston Fisheries sponsored man of the match award.
Next up is another tough encounter away to Castleford based rivals Cutsyke Raiders. Players meet at 12-00 pm at the club house for a 2-00pm kick off