Rovers make it through to home draw Round 2
Crosfields .. 10 (10)
Sharlston Rovers .. 36 (24)
Carnegie Challenge Cup - Round One
(Saturday 31st February 2009 – Crosfields Warrington)
The hopes of reaching the 3rd round of the prestigious Carnegie Challenge cup continues to burn strong for the Weeland Road amateurs with a comfortable away victory over Warrington based Crosfields.
It wasn’t all plain sailing for the visitors though despite the eventual scoreline with the hosts catching Rovers cold from the journey with an opening try down the scrum blindside from Crosfields’ winger Pete Royal. The shock of falling behind to such a soft try fired Rovers into the mindset needed to take advantage of the huge field and Rovers soon regained parity.
Craig Miles burst through a gap in defence while trying to get his side away from their own sticks and after racing to half way supplied Lee Maskill who rounded the last man to bring scores back level, Dale Ferris added the first of his 6 conversions to edge the lead.
In the return set Rovers capitalised on some great go forward from Andy Booth, Phil Hodgson and James Lockwood and the 5th and last kick from Wandlass was inch perfect sitting the ball in some standing water in goal for winger Brad Chatfield to pounce on.
Chatfield rapidly completed his brace backing up a quick scoot from dummy half from player coach Lee Bettison to cross out wide, Ferris continued his fine form with boot.
To complete an express period of scoring Lee Maskill proved the importance of his return, playing through the pain barrier returning early from a hand fracture with a superb individual try.
A brief lapse in concentration allowed the hosts to add a converted try 10 minutes before the interval, but Sharlston continued to dominate the remainder of half with Spencer and Bingham making an impression of the bench.
From the restart Rovers were eager to not allow Crosfields to mimic the first half and captain Craig Miles lead from the front finishing one of his virtuoso breaks under the sticks to pull his side 20 points clear.
For the next 25 minutes Rovers were unrelenting and were breaking the line at will with Geoff Hick almost going the length of the field. On the hour mark Crosfields lost a man to the bin when the official finally took action for a high shot that throughout the match were penalised but unpunished.
Rovers used the advantage well and the gaps opened as Rovers attacked across the field, assistant coach Phil Hodgson on the end of some powerful running, Ferris completed his 100% kicking record for the afternoon. Andy Booth scooped the P&S Groundworks man of the match accolade with continued run of fine form in his testimonial season for Rovers.
The conquest over the National Conference Division 2 team sets up a mouth watering second round tie with Premier outfit Leigh East in a fortnight. Rovers will look to home advantage, an unbeaten record and a recent boost in form to steer themselves into the bag to join the semi-pro Championship sides.
Challenge cup excitement will continue to build for the all important game and 2 days before the big day on Thursday (12th) evening, the club will be paid a visit by the prestigious trophy thanks to competition sponsor Leeds Met Carnegie. The trophy will be displayed at the Sharlston HQ from 8pm for supporters to have their photo taken with the silver wear lifted by St Helens this year.
This coming weekend Rovers continue in cup action again mixing it with the conference teams in the BARLA National cup competition. Sharlston have a testing away tie to conquer if they are to enter the quarter final stages and the squad is back at full strength for the all important last 16 match. A supporters coach is available for £5 per seat, operated on a first come first served basis, leaving the Sharlston Hotel at 12pm prompt.
Men of the Match
Home : #9 Richard Hough, Away : #8 Andy Booth
Referee Mark Thomason, kept up with the game and technically very good, loosely punished several high shots which allowed tempers to boil towards the end.
Gamestar Andy Booth led a strong pack with demanding runs that tired the defence and allowed the backs to punish rook.
Gamebreaker Miles try under the H’s minutes into the second half sunk any chance of a come back.
Crosfields 1 Anthony Monks 2 Pete Royle 3 Fraser Linaker 4 Chris Burgess 5 Rob Ditchfield 6 Dave Gibbons 7 Phil Bannon 8 Terry Reid 9 Richard Hough 10 Barry Lowe 11 James Gluver 12 Matt Pitt 13 Craig Noone 14 Jon Pickersgill 15 Ian Boden 16 Dave Lucas 17 Matt Barber
Sharlston Rovers 1 Geoff Hick 2 Brad Chatfield 3 Jonathan Waddle 4 Gareth Davies 5 Dale Ferris 6 Lee Maskill 7 Thomas Wandless 8 Andy Booth 9 Lee Bettison 10 Phil Hodgson 11 Sean Emblem 12 James Lockwood 13 Craig Miles 14 Carl Spencer 15 Tommy Crowther 16 Chris Bingham 17 Carl Saville