Rovers suffer first reversal
Lindley Swifts 20
Sharlston Rovers A 12
Pennine Division 1
After recent weeks heroics the young Rovers side were brought back down to earth with a bump suffering their first reversal of the season against a very strong Lindley Swifts outfit. Rovers started well enough and with both defences on top chances were few and far between for either side.
Despite the blustery conditions Rovers seemed to control the ball well and were unlucky not to score when a clever kick from Wandless saw Kendall almost scoring. Another good kick through this time from Richardson saw Garfitt go close before Wilson crashed over to open the account for the visitors after some good approach work by Shillaber, Richardson converting on 20 minutes.
Rovers defence was in good form at this stage with Timms, Kendall and Wood leading the way well supported by debutants Barnett and George. Rovers kept up the pressure as they tried to take control of the match but the strong home defence held firm. On the half hour mark with Rovers pressing the Swifts line a cut out was was intercepted by the home scrum half who raced almost the length of the boggy field to score a converted try to level the match.
Rovers were not put off by this and still pressed the home line but all too often the final ball was just not right, although Wandless was unlucky to have a try ruled out for an alleged infringement on 36 minutes. Half time came with 2 evenly matched sides tied at the break.
Rovers started the 2nd period as they finished the first with some excellent defence and some good attacking play leading to Hawkins and Whitehouse almost scoring. Wandless and Richardson were running the show for Rovers and good play saw Torvill go close before Rasool won the race to Wandless excellent kick to give Rovers the lead on 48 minutes, Richardson converting.
The home side realised they had to up the tempo and also change their tactics as there was no way through the middle of the solid Rovers defensive line, and this they did with the game gradually turning in their favour as time wore on.
Swifts levelled the match when Rovers were guilty of hanging off the runners close to the line on 62 minutes gifting the home side a converted score.
Rovers were now struggling to contain the much more experienced home side and only desperate defending kept the line intact on more than one occasion.
Swifts hit the front when Rovers were punished for some indecision close to their line with another converted try on 74 minutes.Rovers were desperate to get back in the game and a good kick chase led to Shaw forcing an error with his excellent tackle giving Rovers good field position for the first time in a while, poor ball control followed by some indiscipline saw the chance go begging.
Swifts countered with an attack of their own before Rovers were punished for a technical offence following a tap restart gifting the home side 2 points with 2 minutes remaining.
Rovers had no time to get back into the game and were left ruing some missed chances through the match as the home side used their experience and closed the game out for a victory.
Best for the Rovers side in mixed team effort were Kendall, Richardson and Whitehouse with Wandless taking the Sharlston Fisheries sponsored man of the match award for an excellent effort on the day.
Next game is the Yorkshire Cup 3rd round at HOME against THORNHILL TROJANS kick off 2-00pm players meet at 12-30 at the clubhouse.