Rovers progress swiftly in Pennine Cup
Sharlston Rovers A .. 62
Lindley Swifts .. 16
Pennine Presidents Cup Round 1
Rovers progressed to the 2nd round of the Pennine president’s trophy with an emphatic 11 try demolition of divisional rivals Lindley Swifts. The first 15 minutes however gave no indication as to the onslaught that followed with the earlier rain making handling difficult and both defences working hard, Rovers served well by Liam Kendall and Ronan Dixon.
The home side started well with the ball but on more than one occasion the last pass was rushed and the chances created went begging. Rovers opened the scoring on 18 mins when Chris Shaw crashed over out wide after a neat cut out ball from Adam Jones.
The home side were now starting to settle in to their pattern of play and only desperate scrambling defence from the visitors prevented Rasool from scoring after a good long range break 3 minutes later. Rovers were not to be denied for long as Hat trick hero Shillaber showed his class to chip over the defence and regather to score under the posts on 25 minutes, Richardson converting.
Rovers defence was limiting the now tiring visitors to only brief appearances in the home sides half of the field and good field position allowed Jones and Richardson the time and space to run the show for Rovers.
Richardson was next to score the first of his 3 on 31 minutes after a good solo run, the same player converting before Shillaber scored his 2nd after a well worked scrum move saw him burst over from 15 yards out on 36 mins. Lindley capitalised on a rare error from the home side regaining possession from the restart and making the most of the chance to reduce the deficit with a 6 point score to give them some hope for the 2nd period with the half time score 20 v 6 meaning they were still in the game.
Rovers opened the 2nd period in good style with Hawkins crashing 3 minutes after the restart, Richardson converting. Sloppy play and needless penalties saw the visitors make their way back into Rovers half and the inevitable score came after 48 minutes when the Home defence was breached for another 6 point effort. Rovers hit back as Shillaber completed his hat trick after some good work by Wandless and Field created the space for Jones to offload close to the line, Richardson again converting. Swifts were not going away at this stage and again poor ball handling gave them the chance to score again this time too far out to convert.
That was probably the jolt that Rovers needed as they upped their defensive efforts and went back to basics with the ball in hand to gradually wear down the visitors resistance. The impressive Josh Field was next to score for Rovers as his good line running saw him leave the full back standing to go under the posts, Richardson again converting on 62 minutes.
The visitors were on the back foot for the closing quarter as the wave of Rovers attacks continued with relentless pressure, Kendall next to cross on 65 minute, Richardson tagging on the extras. Rovers were on fire at this stage and Richardson nabbed his 2nd of the day after an excellent break from 30 yards out again self-converting. With 7 minutes remaining Hawkins got his 2nd of the day with his trademark dummy opening the defence, Richardson converting. The final score went to man of the match Richardson as he completed his hat trick in the last minute with another long range break for a 6 point score to wrap up a good days work for the home side.
Rovers will be again be happy with the result after another impressive display and they will be looking to build on this as the season progresses.
Best for the Rovers side were Gary Shillaber, Josh Field and Ronan Dixon with Jorge Richardson Sharlston Fisheries sponsored man of the match award for an excellent effort on the day.
Next match is a league game away at Cumbrian side Dalton, bus leaves at 08:30 hours for a 2-00pm kick off