Rovers just short in promotion battle
Sharlston Rovers ‘A’ .. 14
Brighouse Rangers .. 16
Pennine Division Three
Rovers came up just short in this tough promotion battle against strong rivals Brighouse Rangers. Rovers went close as early as the 3rd minute when Hill’s kick through saw Cooper first to the ball and he fed Shaw who was stopped just short of the line. Mistakes from the home side put their line under pressure and it needed good defence from Greenbank and Smith to keep the visitors out.
Rovers gifted possession to the visitors once too often and Rangers opened the scoring with a converted try after 14 minutes. Smith almost scored but was fouled after a kick through resulting in a penalty goal for Hill after 20 minutes.
Rangers increased the lead with a hotly disputed try on the half hour mark to give them a 10 v 2 lead and at this stage Rovers were struggling to stay in the game. Hard work and some strong determined running from the home side got them back in the game and approaching the interval Rovers were again unlucky not to score when Whitehouse and Kelly both went close.
Rovers knew they had to start the 2nd period well and not allow the much bigger visiting pack the space and possession they had enjoyed in the 1st half, and did so with some good work from Reville and Palmer aided by Greenbank and Richardson. Clever play from Golec enabled Simpson to break and crash over for a try converted by Hill after 48 minutes to put the home side well back in the match.
Rangers hit back almost immediately with a converted score to restore the 8 point lead when another home side mistake saw possession spilled. Collinson intercepted when Rangers were pressing the home line and after a good break Rovers went close through Kavanagh who was stopped just short. Rovers defence had now tightened and the visitors were restricted in the chances they had although it took a fine last ditch tackle from Weight to force the winger into touch and keep the line intact. Rovers threw everything at the Brighouse line and were rewarded when a well worked set play saw Golec put Whitehouse over for an excellent try converted by hill with 8 minutes remaining to set up a grandstand finish.
Rovers pushed hard in the closing stages with the larger visiting pack now struggling with the pace of the game but all too often Rovers were denied at the last moment from salvaging at least a point from a game they tried so hard in.
It remains to be seen whether this result will ultimately cost Rovers in their push for promotion and the defeat was hard to swallow with the effort shown by the young side,
Best for Rovers in a very good team effort were Smith, Greenbank and Whitehouse with Weight taking the Motorcity Motorists Centre sponsored man of the match award.
Next week’s game is away at Ryhill Hammers in the Semi Final of the Wakefield and District Physiowise sponsored trophy.
Players meet at 12-00 at the clubhouse.