Rovers leave it late to seal last 8 place.
West Bowling .. 26
Sharlston Rovers ..28
After Extra time, 24-24 after full time
ACE Insurance BARLA National Cup – Round 4
Sharlston Rovers were only seconds away from being dumped out of the BARLA National cup competition as their tie versus West Bowling entered the close of extra time only for BARLA International Lee Maskill to cross in the corner to put them into quarter finals.
Rovers had registered a comfortable first half lead after playing some of the most attractive rugby of the season and looked likely to progress further but West Bowling had other ideas with danger man Josh Essex orchestrating his teams comeback.
The first half lead established by Rovers opened after only 8 minutes with Sean Emblem skittling the defence down the middle. Sharlston’s forwards were dominating the game with Lockwood, Thompsen and Emblem gaining the field position that half Tom Wandless exploited whilst attacking the line before putting Geoff Hick through the gap, Dale Ferris adding on the extras.
Rovers kept the ball alive well and the last try of the half demonstrated the cohesion of their attacking play with Waddle linking in with both Davies and Ferris before supporting to collect the offload, again Ferris goaled in windy conditions.
Going into the interval Rovers looked to have a firm grip on the game but within 10 minutes of the restart the Bradford opposition had retaliated with 2 quickfire converted tries to leave them trailing by only 6 points, leaving the visitors looking shell shocked.
Man of the match Geoff Hick steadied the ship on the hour mark going in for his second try of the game after backing up a barnstorming break from Lockwood, Ferris added on the goal to give his side a 12 point buffer.
With 10 minutes of the game remaining Rovers looked to get back on top and pressed hard but Bowling stand odd Josh Essex continued to cause Rovers problems as he unleashed his second rower for an important score.
Sharlstons backs were against the wall as they tried to protect their 6 point lead with only 5 minutes remaining but a decision to run a penalty within kicking distance proved to be costly one. Rovers pressed for the score and the last pass that would have put Davies through was intercepted by Essex who raced the length of the field to score under the sticks to convert himself and tie the scores.
There was still time for Rovers to resurrect the result in normal time but agonisingly for the travelling supporters the chance went begging and the game entered extra time.
An intense first period of extra time followed with intense defences from both sides, each side looked to work towards to sticks looking for a one pointer. Just 2 minutes before the end of the first stage of added time the official awarded a penalty to Bowling within kicking distance after Lockwood was said to have illegally challenged the kicker once the ball had gone.
Rovers were now left chasing the game and picked up the pace to get over for the all important try but Bowling held out well under a barrage of plays. With only moments left on the clock a quick dart from acting half from Bettison created an overlap supplied Miles who in turn passed to Maskill. The GB center still had lots to do and despite the attentions of several defenders managed to stay in play to cross for the winning score.
Rovers now enter the quarter final stages of the blue ribband competition where they will travel to Wigan St Cuthberts who dumped out Sharlstons bogey side Skirlaugh.
Cup action continues for Rovers this time as they host title rivals Drighlington in the quarter finals of the Pennine Presidents Cup, Kick off 2 pm.