Rovers fell York to progress to round 3
Sharlston Rovers .. 18
York Acorn .. 12
BARLA National Cup 2008
Sharlston Rovers enter the last 32 stages of the BARLA National cup after dumping out favourites York Acorn. The National Conference league premier side sit in the top 4 but Rovers didnít let the differences in leagues get in the way as they rocketed into the next round with a midweek victory under newly instated floodlights.
The re-arranged midweek fixture was heavily attended despite the dayís rain and the heavy pitch seemed to suit Rovers dominant pack. From the off Rovers were keen to strike first in the opening set when Lee Maskill nearly found himself over the whitewash but was held just short. The first score eventually came and it was captain fantastic Craig Miles who registered it after taking the first drive from a tap on half way, the loose forward powered through the defence line before wrong footing the fullback to score under the sticks, winger Dale Ferris added the easy extras.
For the remainder of the first half Rovers held a substantial amount of possession despite being heavily penalised by the referee but in the wet conditions the final pass often went to ground. Full back Geoff Hick returned the testing kicks well and forwards Phil Hodgson, Craig Miles, Sean Emblem and Andy Booth earnt the side their possession. It was however the gutsy tackling that gave testament to their 6-0 lead as Rovers did well to hold Acorn who showed the potential to score on several occasions.
Just before the interval Rovers capitalised on the control of the ball and while close to the line player-coach Lee Bettison shipped the ball out wide to Gareth Davies who showed why heís seen as one of the top finishers in the amateur game ghosting his way through several defenders in a try probably only he could finish. Ferris couldnít add the goal from out wide but the hosts were more than happy to take a 10 point lead into the break.
Despite the close of the first ending on a high, emotions couldnít have been more upturned when within minutes York Acorn hit back with a 6 pointer. The NCL premier side made use of an overlap on their flank and a stand off sliding Rovers line failed to take man and ball with Ben Jones breaking the line before supplying substitute Joe Budd when faced with the last line of defence. Winger Leigh Rientoul added the conversion.
Regardless of the set back Rovers continued with the dominance that the pack gave them and on the back on the this go-forward and quick play of the balls they won a penalty for offside under the sticks. Rovers elected to take a penalty conversion to increase the buffer to 6 points, Dale Ferris adding the two points.
Sharlston regained their 10 point lead with Gareth Davies going in to complete his brace when York couldnít deal with a testing kick from Maskill, Davies touching down one of the easiest tries of his season.
With 15 minutes remaining Rovers looked to turn the screw and wind up the victory and had Acorn pinned on their own line, but while trying to spread the ball to the heavily stacked flanks the floated pass was intercepted as Ben Jones raced the length of the field to score under the sticks for Reintoul to convert bring the game within grasps.
The hosts with the backing of a healthy vocal crowd lifted their game should have sealed the game with 2 ruled out tries, firstly Carl Spencer deem to knock on with the grounding before Davies was judged guilty of the same offence.
With the clock running down Rovers bulked up in defence and battened down the hatches with a simple one-up rugby and 4 minutes from time Sharlston took another 2 points on offer for an illegal ball steal under the posts. Ferris added the goal that but the hosts 6 points to the good which they held to the final whistle.
The impressive display will stand them in good stead for the massive game this festive period as they take on CMS Yorkshire league top guns Hunslet Warriors in the BARLA Yorkshire cup. Rovers will make the short journey to the Chris Moyles Stadium Featherstone Rovers 2 days after boxing day on Sunday 28th December with a kick off time scheduled for 2.00pm. Itís expected to be a similar large crowd in attendance as last year when Sharlston lost out to Queens also of Leeds.
Sharlston Rovers :
1. Geoff Hick 2. Dale Ferris 3. Gareth Davies 4. Dale Potter 5. Brad Chatfield 6. Lee Maskill 7. Lee Bettison 8. Andy Booth 9. Carl Saville 10. Phil Hodgson 11. Sean Emblem 12. Jonathan Waddle 13. Craig Miles 14. Carl Spencer 15. Tommy Crowther 16. Keith Brook 17. Bart Thompsen
Tries : Miles(13), Davies (39, 58)
Goals : Ferris 3
York Acorn :
1. Leigh Reintoul 2. Matt Wither 3. Ian Brown 4. Ben Jones 5. Steve Mackley 6. Scott Rhodes 7. Andy Gargan 20. Nic Caldwell 9. Tim Elliott 10. Danny Caldwell 11. Alan Willits 12. Simon Wadsworth 13. Tom Hill 14. Joe Budd 15. Davey Burns 16. Rich Warren 17. Rob Wilkinson
Tries : Budd (41) Jones (66)
Goals : Rientoul 2
Half time: 10-0
Referee : Tony Martin (Oldham)
UNISON Man of the Match : Geoff Hick
GAME STAR : Sharlston loose forward Craig Miles was in thrilling form, getting a wonderful opening try and having a hand in most that was good from Sharlston.
GAME BREAKER : Gareth Daviesí try on the hour mark pushed Sharlston ten points a head and that was enough to keep the Acorn at bay.