Rovers continue on road to wembley
Sharlston Rovers .. 22
Leigh East .. 10
Carnegie Challenge Cup – Round 2
Sharlston Rovers will run the flag for the Wakefield amateurs as they enter the bag for the third round of the Carnegie challenge cup where they will be joined by the 20 championship semi-pro sides along with representatives from France and Russia.
Rovers progressed though a nail biting encounter with NCL premier outfit Leigh East and showed great character to come back from a 10 point shock opening.
A bumber crowd of over 500 spectators gathered at the Weeland Road base where hours before an army of volunteers had worked hard to ensure the tie went ahead. The early frost eventually thawed and left a heavy grass-bear surface which cut up fast, meaning both side had to simplify their game plan with handling conditions treacherous.
East were the first out of the blocks and left Sharlston shell shocked when an early handling error gave Leigh a third minute lead as Adrian Dootson went unopposed down the touchside. Rovers opening moved from bad to worse when East extended their lead as Hick uncharacteristically spilled the ball under the sticks and Lee Rowley picked up to score the easiest of tries and his stand off Ryan Peters goaling.
With their backs against the wall Rovers showed tremendous character to turn the game in their favour. With some safe carries from Emblem, Waddle and Booth Rovers started to complete their sets and work into their opponents half for the first time of the match.
Like Rovers earlier Leigh couldn’t keep the ball safe which gave Sharlston some of their best possession which Jonathan Waddle made the best of as he attracted in several defenders before managing to offload to Gareth Davies who did well to take the low ball to cross over the line and score. Dale Ferris slotted over the brick like ball to bring his side within 4 points of the visitors.
Rovers showed patience as the game started to swing in their favour and despite getting on a role they shrewdly took the points on offer when Lockwood was taken high on a barn storming run, Ferris successful with the penalty conversion.
The turning point of the game came just minutes before the interval when player coach Bettison hit Bart Thompsen on a short ball under the posts with the aussie prop proving too powerful, Ferris converted to take a confidence boosting 14-10 lead into the half time team talk.
Rovers opened the second half tentatively in attack trying not to play too expansively in the poor conditions. Rovers concentrated their efforts on protecting their minor lead and defended ferociously, East almost regained the lead on the hour mark only to spill the ball over the whitewash after attentions of Bettison and Thompsen.
With 10 minutes remaining loose forward Craig Miles gave his side the breathing space needed with an all important score from the skipper bursting onto a short ball once again from Bettison at hooker, Ferris goaled once again to go 10 points clear.
Rovers played out the remaining the 10 minutes of the game with some smart kicking and played the game as far away from their sticks as possible and wrapped up the victory with a last minute penalty goal from Ferris. Sean Emblem took the J&V Mobile Catering Man of the match proving to be a mountain of strength of the hosts.
Rovers will have to wait until this Tuesday evening to find out who they face in the third round, but the structure of the draw means Rovers will definitely face professional opposition. Rovers will wait with baited breath for the draw for the Third Round of the Carnegie Challenge Cup as it is broadcast live on BBC Radio Manchester at approximately 7.25pm.
The studio guests who will assist with conducting the draw will be RFL Benevolent Fund representative and former Sharlston player Jimmy Gittins and Wakefield Trinity Wildcats’ Ireland international Scott Grix.
This weekend Rovers once again face a stern test as they try to book their place in the quarter final stages of the ACE Insurance BARLA National cup. A visit to NCL division one West Bowling is what stands in their way and Rovers will be running a supporters bus leaving the Sharlston Hotel at 12 noon for a 2pm kick off.
Gamebreaker : Bart Thompsen’s try just before half time put Rovers infront for the first time and seemed to raise the spirits of the side.
Gamestar : Sean Emblem was a mountain of strength for Rovers in both attack and defence.
Sharlston Rovers : 1 Geoff Hick 2 Dale Ferris 3 Gareth Davies 4 Dale Potter 5 Steven Froggett 6 Thomas Wandless 7 Lee Betiison 8 Andy Booth 9 Carl Spencer 10 Phil Hodgson 11 Sean Emblem 12 Jonathan Waddle 13 Craig Miles 14 Tommy Crowther 15 Lee Maskill 16 James Lockwood 17 Bart Thompsen
Tries : Gareth Davies (23) Bart Thompsen (36) Craig Miles (68)
Goals : Dale Ferris 5/7
Leigh East : 1 Ryan Fieldhouse 2 Andrew Groves 3 Carl Retford 4 Carl Mort 5 Mark Kay 6 Ryan Peters 7 Craig Dean 8 Bret Longstaff 9 Adrian Dootson 10 Craig Winfield 11 Mark Starkie 12 Lee Rowley 13 Dan Kilshaw 14 Dan McDonald 15 Greg Evans 16 Semsi Coaker 17 Lee Hansen
Tries : Adrian Dootson (3) Lee Rowley (13)
Goals : Ryan Peters 1/2
Referee : Robert Cowling (Oldham)
Other Round 2 Results
Featherstone Lions 12 British Army 30
Kells 31 Leigh Miners 22
Saddleworth 20 Castleford Lock Lane 16
Sharlston Rovers 20 Leigh East 10
Siddal 34 West Bowling 10
Wath Brow 40 Hull Dockers 22
Widnes St Maries 8 Queens 15
Wigan St Judes 24 Pilkingtons 28
Wigan St Pats 24 West Hull 12