Rovers right on track for championship title
Sharlston Rovers .. 28
Drighlington .. 12
Pennine Premier Division
Rovers made a massive stride towards the capture of the Pennine Premier title after delivering Drighlington’s first league defeat of the season. The race for the top spot seems to be down to the 2 old foes and this victory will give Rovers the upper hand come the end of season finale if they don’t fall at any of the final 4 game hurdles that remain.
The Yorkshire cup champions seem to be taking the extra weekly midweek game in their stride and despite being worked hard by Keith Seniors St Joesphs just 4 days before, Sharlston looked fresh and enthusiastic in both attack and defence.
Man of the Match Chris Bingham opened up the scoring 10 minutes into the arm wrestle crashing onto a short ball and proving too much close to the line, Ferris goaling the first of his 3 conversions.
Carl Saville at hooker marshalled the rook with devastating consequences as the Rovers pack took control of the middle of the park, Booth, Lockwood and Emblem gaining the yards for the hosts. As Rovers seemed to camp on Drigs line with some repeat sets Saville bamboozled the defence from acting half to ghost under the sticks unopposed.
Drighlington returned with an assault of their own but never looked like breaking the Rovers defensive clasps as Wandless, Emblem and Miles shone in defence. Knowing how hard it would be to cross Rovers line and stray high tackle gave Drighlington the opportunity to add their first points with a converted penalty attempt.
The points seemed to lift the visitors as they continued to press for a score but a charged down kick from Wandless sent the stand off the length of the field to collect at half way and race to the corner.
5 minutes before the interval Rovers went into a commanding 20 point lead as prolific try score Davies stepped the cover defence to add to his sides tally as Ferris converted. In a last ditch effort of the half Drighlington hit back with an unconverted score out wide with a kick behind the line that the winger was the first to ground.
Drighlington started the second half the brighter as the Leeds outfits stand out forward Andy Jarret crashed over on the 5th and last and Sanderson gaoled to bring them back to within 10 points.
Rovers battened down the hatches in defence and weathered a 20 minute spell of pressure from the visitors with several attempts held up over the line courtesy of a committed defence.
Rovers sealed the victory with 10 minutes to go as Davies raced in for his second try of the afternoon following quick hands across the line to expose the gap on the outside, Hill added the touchline goal to close the vital victory.
Rovers have one last chance to make a Blackpool appearance following the knock out of the National cup to Wigan St Cuthberts. Rovers will travel to face the Cumbrian county cup champions Ellenborough in the BARLA Champion of Champions Semi Final this Saturday.
Rovers will then need to weather another stern midweek league game as they face Halifax Irish on Tuesday evening with a 7.15 kick off scheduled.