Rovers keep firm grip on Pennine presidents cup
Sharlston Rovers .. 30
Huddersfield St Joesphs .. 16
Pennine Presidents Cup Round 2
Jamie Hobbs at Back ‘ot Wall
Newly crowned Yorkshire cup champions Sharlston Rovers kept a firm grip on the retention of the Pennine Presidents cup after a hard fought victory over Huddersfield St Joesphs. With a testing league encounter fresh in the mind Rovers knew they had to emulate the strong performance that won them the Yorkshire cup last week if they were to progress into the quarter final stage.
Sharlston opened up their account only 5 minutes in when forward Bart Thompsen proved to be unstoppable from 10 meters out, taking the ball in hard and strong from a tap. Dale Ferris added the extras to take a 6 point lead.
The lead was to be short lived as St Joes wingman and former Rover Richard ‘walla walla’ Aka showed the pace that earned him his popularity while at Sharlston, the lightning fast wingman eluded several tacklers to go under the sticks from in side the Joe’s half.
With scores tied Rovers came on the offensive and thanks to tireless runs by Thompsen, Andy Booth and Tommy Crowther were within striking range on several occasions but the ball frustratingly often went to ground in the crucial final play.
Rovers soon regained the lead through winger Chris Hill who thanks to lightning quick handling center Dale Potter found himself with the try line staring openly. Hill soon went in for his second 10 minutes later with a similar flowing move finished out of the flank, this time Ferris goaling to take a 10 point lead.
Rovers looked to take that lead into the interval but St Joes had other ideas and with only a minute remaining quick hands down the right side gave them the break that hooker Neil Thornton supported to score under the sticks, Neil Barrett goaling.
A quick scoring 5 minutes off the restart put Rovers in more comfortable position thanks to prolific try scorer Gareth Davies who added a brace of tries to boost his tally to 28 for the season, Ferris added the goal to put Sharlston 14 points clear.
Rovers all but sealed the victory with 10 minutes remaining when Carl Saville finished a superb move that spread the ball to the flank for Ferris to chip over and hooker Saville to catch in goal for a simple touchdown.
Joe’s coach Leeds Rhinos and GB center Keith Senior will be proud of a never say die attitude that saw them score a class try with only seconds remaining as winger Leon Alexis scored outwide.
Best for Rovers were packmen Andy Booth, Bart Thompsen along with Sean Emblem who all dominated their opposite numbers to gain the field position the flankers to needed to score. Andy Booth collected the P&S Groundworks man of the match accolade.
In a change of fixture due to Upton’s rescheduled BARLA national cup tie, the Pennine league have moved quickly in order not to leave Rovers kicking their heels and will travel to Queensbury if the field beats the weather. A supporter’s bus is available and leaves the Sharlston Hotel on a first come first served basis.
The away fixture is the first of several as rovers depart on a quest for silverware, firstly in the National cup on the 17th away to St Helens based Blackbrook and then in the Carnegie Challenge cup. The challenge cup will see Sharlston travel to Warrington to take on NCL division 2 side Crosfields. The club are running supporters buses to both ties and welcome supporters to purchase tickets from the Sharlston Hotel at a reasonable price of £5 per match.