Rovers make last 16 of National Cup
Sharlston Rovers progress to the last 16 stages of the National Cup competition joining only 2 other teams from outside the National Conference League after a gutsy defensive victory when travelling to Wigan St Cuthberts.
Rovers defending the steep incline had to dig in deep to keep out the robust pack especially after losing Stand off half Lee Maskill after an altercation at the play of ball. Prior to the dismissal on 20 minutes St Cuthbert’s took the lead with Dean Byrom adding a penalty conversion but Rovers hit back with a flowing move that saw Dale Potter cross in the corner. Wigan Scrum Half Jamie Dallimore and Sean Foster continued to cause problems for the Rovers defence and pilled on the pressure but Rovers astute defence with Craig Miles leading by example held strong until the interval.
Rovers now attacking down the hill and with the wind at their backs they looked to move on top with the pack working especially hard with Brook, Lockwood, Booth, Hall and Miles all making the hard yards.
With Rovers holding the majority of possession and the beefy Wigan forwards tiring from working away from their own Rovers started to turn the screw and when given chance to add more air between the scores Bell took the 2 points on offer after a penalty was awarded to the visitors.
Clever kicking from Carl Saville gave Rovers their next points when dabbing a perfectly weighted ball behind the defence with Jonathan Waddle stretching out to ground on the touch side, Matty Bell superbly goaling to further Rovers lead 12-2. Only minutes before the final whistle second rower Keith Brook who had caused the defence allsorts of problems in the second half crossed under the sticks after following up a Kevin Dickens charge for the line, Bell adding the goal. St Cuthbert’s hit back and in one of their only visits into the Rovers half Neil Fairhurst nipped in on the corner after Phil D’Burgh held up several defenders before offloading to the winger.
Loose forward Craig Miles sponsored by Total Quality Garage Doors scooped the man of the match award after a solid defensive effort and breaking the Wigan defensive line at will.