Sharlston Rovers earn hard fought victory with strong defensive display

Sharlston Rovers travelled across the county to play Huddersfield-based Lindley St Josephs and came away with the points after a 12-4 win in a tough Yorkshire Men's League encounter.

By Tony Harber
Tuesday, 10th May 2022, 9:00 am

Rovers were slightly understrength, but were in confident mood and started well with some good play from Jorge Richardson, Ryan Butterworth and veteran hooker Paul Greaves putting the home side under pressure.

A good break from Brendon Gibbins saw Michael Williams go close and Sean Markey was unlucky not to score after some good work by Gary Smith.

Rovers took the lead on 14 minutes when good pressure saw Rovers force an error with Pat Harrison the first to react to scoop up the loose ball and score, Richardson converting.

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Brendon Gibbins played his part in a hard fought win for Sharlston Rovers against Lindley St Josephs.

Lindley reduced the deficit on 20 minutes when a rare lapse of concentration from the visitors led to a score from dummy-half out wide.

Injuries to a couple of key players meant a reshuffle for Sharlston and while they were adjusting the home side upped their game for a period as they sensed an outside chance. Strong defence from Smith, Ben Lyons and Kyle Littlewood kept the St Josephs side at bay, though, and their frustration started to show.

Rovers saw the half out with some ease and looked good value for the half-time lead.

The second period started well for the visitors and they almost scored when Josh Beecher had a good break to the line, but the pass he collected was adjudged to be forward, denying him a deserved score.

Jakob Lupton was also unlucky not to score after a good break and pass from Yemi George, with Gibbins and Liam Kendall going close.

Rovers extended the lead when a good solo run from Butterworth saw him score in the corner on 62 minutes with Beecher slotting over the touchline conversion with ease.

On 70 minutes Kendall was extremely unlucky to have his try effort refused after his strong run to the line saw four defenders struggling to hold him back but the referee adjudged the ball was lost over the line.

The home side's inability to break down the Rovers determined defence, well led by Martyn Nicol, Lewis Findlay and Martyn Tilford among others, saw their frustration boil over and they had a man sin-binned in the closing stages with Sharlston able to see the game out to clinch the two points on offer.

Another decent performance by the Rovers puts them at the top of the league on points difference from this week’s opponents Almondbury Spartans as they will look to continue their good form.

Best for the Rovers side in a good team effort were Pat Harrison, Ryan Butterworth and Gary Smith with Paul Greaves taking the Sharlston Fisheries sponsored man of the match award.