Rovers stampede into next round
Sharlston Rovers A .. 44
Cadishead Rhinos .. 8
National Cup First Round
An eventful weekend was had by the Weeland Road club as they progressed into the next round of the BARLA National cup as well as notching another win at the top of the Pennine premier table.
In a bold move Rovers officials decided to request a premier league fixture on the same day as the first round in the National cup and backed the strength of the club squad to come good in the risky tactic.
Head coach Gordy Long commented saying “The fixture pile up towards the end of the season has often caused disruption to our championship quest but the National cup has too much prestige not to take part. We have had several good runs in the competition and we feel we can compete against the national conference sides, the National cup is our chance to prove that.”
Long went onto say “Despite the A teams recent shaky period, we showed belief in their ability and with only a sprinkling of first team experienced players they showed great character and responsibility to earn a place in the next round tie with a comfortable score.”
A predominantly ‘A’ team based Rovers were outstanding in this Barla National cup round 1 tie against spirited and game Salford based opponents Cadishead Rhinos who must be given great credit for the way they conducted themselves on and off the field, never giving up and playing the game in a good spirit throughout.
Rovers hit the front as early as the 5th minute when influential scrum half Hill dummied the onrushing defence to score a try converted by Wandless and give Rovers the start they needed. Heath jinked his way over the line on 10 minutes after good work from Cooper and Kavanagh with Wandless again converting.
Whitehouse scored his 1st of the day when a well-worked move saw the youngster leave the defence flat footed to crash over the line Wandless tagging on the extras. Wandless then created the gap and launched an excellent ball for Whitehouse to score his 2nd of the day with Rovers now looking like scoring every time they had the ball in hand. Byrom was next on the score sheet when he was first to react to a clever kick through early in the tackle count to score a well deserved try.
Hill then put a pinpoint kick to the corner and Shaw rose above everyone to collect the ball and score a terrific try out wide Wandless slotting over the touchline conversion. This game was not all about scoring tries though and the defence for Rovers was outstanding throughout with Pajor Palmer and Haigh leading the way well supported by Cooper and Shaw.
A terrific run from Goodfellow set up a chance for Rovers but the home side were denied by desperate defence from the game visitors. Bailey then capped a fine display with a strong running try from a well-worked set piece move, Wandless converting to give Rovers a commanding lead at the break.
The visitors stepped up their defence in the 2nd period and although Rovers may have taken the foot off the gas a shade the under pressure Rhinos never stopped competing and showed excellent character to not give up the fight taking the Rovers all the way, with some strong defence from the home side preventing them from scoring any kind of consolation try.
Whitehouse completed his deserved hat trick with an impressive score from a good ball by Hill with Wandless knocking over his 6th and final conversion.
There were some good displays all around the park from the Rovers side who bounced back well from last weeks setback. Golec, Wandless and Bailey all worked hard with Hill and Whitehouse sharing the Mothercare sponsored man of the match award.