PENNINE Premier high fliers Sharlston Rovers pushed a select Featherstone Rovers side all the way before going down 26-18 at the Big Fellas Stadium in a friendly on Boxing Day.
The Co-operative Championship team looked to be heading towards a straight-forward victory only for Sharlston to threaten to turn the game on its head in a gutsy second-half display.
Three tries and a couple of conversions propelled the hosts into a 16-0 lead with 29 minutes gone but Sharlston chalked-up the final score of the half when Tommy Malyan crossed and Ian Jackson goaled to make it 16-6 at the interval.
An unconverted try put Featherstone 20-6 up four minutes into the second half but Sharlston hit back again, Chris Bingham’s touch-down, improved by Jackson, cutting the deficit to eight points six minutes later.
The game was back in the balance on 54 minutes when Scott Glassell crossed the whitewash and Jackson’s goal made it 20-18.
The turning point came only a minute later and Glassell was sent off for the use of an elbow but the visitors refused to lie down and only desperate defending denied Gareth Davies a try as Sharlston pushed forward.
However, the Pennine League team were caught out from a quick restart and a converted try put Featherstone out of reach just after the hour mark.
See this week’s Wakefield Express Sport for all the latest sports news from around the area.