Semi spot with victory over league leaders
Sharlston Rovers .. 40 (12)
Drighlington .. 14 (14)
Pennine Presidents Cup – Quarter Final
Sharlston Rovers continue to excel in cup competitions as they progress into the semi finals of the Pennine Presidents cup where they will face Halifax Irish on home soil.
Rovers would have probably preferred the eventual hefty victory to have been in the league competition with Drighlington heading the standings having played more games, but the second half display that dismantled the Leeds sides half time lead will give them self confidence for when the sides do eventually meet.
The Yorkshire cup champions started off in fine form when within minutes Man of the match James Lockwood burst through the tackles after Bettison took the ball to line, Hill couldn’t add the extras after striking the upright.
The response from Drighlington demonstrated why they sit so highly in the table as they continued to chip away at the hosts and on 10 minutes they wiped out Rovers score with an outwide try from center Dave Patterson.
Things went from bad to worse when soon after Drighlington worked back down field and a mix up on the flanks allowed Drigs winger Alex Bedford in at the corner, Nathan Hallas improving with the testing kick.
Rovers worked hard to regain the lead and some strong carries from Tommy Crowther, Chris Bingham and Andy Booth gained them some field position but they couldn’t seal the deal. Drighlington on the other hand made the most of limited periods with the ball and soon went in for another try as things started to look bad for Rovers who were becoming more frustrated.
The half hour mark brought better fortunes for Rovers as prolific finisher Gareth Davies gave his side hope when Miles held up the defence as Davies angled into the gap, Hill was successful with the kick which brought them to within 4 points.
Rovers were held out for the remainder of the half but just before the half time whistle were awarded a penalty and with no time remaining shrewdly took the points on offer, Hill converting the penalty.
The half time interval gave Rovers the chance to address Drighlingtons main threat, with the Leeds outfit kicking game outlined as Rovers only blip in a robust defence. The restart saw the plans come into fruition with a much more energetic chase back on the 5th and last.
Added ball inhand elevated periods of possession for Rovers and the Drighlington defence eventually buckled as Carl Saville extended his go-go-gadget arm to place the ball on the line at full stretch from acting half, and with Hill off the field due to injury Tom Wandlass took over the kicking duties with accurate effect.
With the lead returned Rovers looked even more determined to increase their tally and within minutes Lockwood smashed through several defenders like a wrecking ball from the half way line for his second of the game, Wandlass again improving.
Drighlington worked their way down field to contest the recent try but a dynamic defensive line coerced the visitors into forcing a pass that Saville read brilliantly to intercept and race the length of the field for an easy score, Wandlass again goaling.
With a 16 point lead the result looked in the bag and with only 15 minutes remaining another try put Rovers firmly in the driving seat, Wandlass sealing another strong individual performance with a well taken score.
Drighlington to their credit never threw in the towel and continued to work to return the defeat to a more respectable scoreline but on the stroke of full time Davies completed his brace as Wandlass added the goal to register the biggest victory on record between the arch rivals.
The celebrations of the notorious victory was short lived as news returned that Geoff Hick’s late second half injury was more serious than expected and the unparalleled full back will probably play no part in the remainder of the season with some big games approaching.
Game star : James Lockwood made massive inroads into Drighlington and caused them problems all afternoon.
Gamebreaker : Saville’s 47 minute try opened the flood gates as Rovers cut out the errors that littered the first half and began to win the tackle.
Sharlston Rovers :
1 Geoff Hick 2 Chris Hill 3 Gareth Davies 4 Dale Potter 5 Brad Chatfield 6 Thomas Wandless 7 Lee Bettison 8 Andy Booth 9 Carl Saville 10 Tommy Crowther 11 Chris Bingham 12 Jonathan Waddle 13 Craig Miles © 19 Carl Spencer 15 Sean Emblem 16 James Lockwood 17 Bart Thompsen
Tries : James Lockwood (2, 51) Gareth Davies (28, 78) Carl Saville (47, 54) Tom Wandless (64)
Goals : Chris Hill 2/3 Tom Wandlass 4/5
Sinbin : Dale Potter 34th min – Holding Down
Drighlington : 1 Chris Cowling 2 Alex Bedford 3 Kevin Doyle 4 Dave Patterson 5 Tom Moorby 6 Ryan Burton 7 Nathan Hallas 8 Andy Brearly 9 Sam Pickles 10 Andy Jarrett 11 Luke Pennington 12 Andy Jackson 13 Steve McIntyre 14 Mike Sanderson 15 Mark Sanderson 16 Glen Pennington
Tries : Dave Patterson (8) Alex Bedford(12) Kevin Doyle (23)
Goals : Nathan Hallas 1/3
Referee : Darren Work (Halifax)