Shaw Cross Sharks retained the Ben Restall Memorial Trophy as they edged a fiercely contested game against Dewsbury Celtic 26-20 at Crow Nest Park last Saturday.
Joe Buggle’s try five minutes from time proved the difference between the sides as the Sharks held off a spirited second half fightback from Celtic.
Shaw Cross started superbly and stormed into a 20 point lead.
Danny Flowers was first on the scoresheet as he received the ball on the right wing and barged through the tacklers to get the ball down for an 18th minute try.
Aiden Chandler broke the line 10 metres out to score before fantastic play from Sam Ottewell and Nathan Smith allowed the Sharks to move off their own line down the other end of the field.
The visitors were in a confident mood and scored their third try as Tom Griffiths forced his way over the line from close range.
Chandler doubled his tally for the afternoon as he squeezed an arm out of a tackle to put the ball down and give Shaw Cross a 20 point advantage.
The Sharks were reduced to 12 men when Nathan Smith was then sent to the sin-bin for a high tackle.
Celtic took full advantage of the extra man and scored from the set which followed the resulting penalty.
Mike Foulstone stepped inside on the right wing and raced over the line to reduce the deficit.
Foulstone was causing problems for Shaw Cross at the beginning of the second half as he scored his second try of the game.
Quick feet from Foulstone saw him jink through the Sharks defence to score and further reduce the deficit.
The hosts looked to have scored their third only minutes later as Josh West picked the ball from acting half-back but he was held up just short of the line.
Celtic continued to impress and Jacob Lindley gathered a magnificent offload from Foulstone on the left wing to score another try as the Sharks lead was cut to four points.
Joe Buggle’s try came at the perfect time for Shaw Cross as he quelled the Celtic fightback.
Buggle found a gap and dashed through to put the ball down by the posts and give his team a 10 point lead.
The home side weren’t finished and were rewarded with another try when Dominic Senior chipped the ball over the Shaw Cross defence and showed lightning speed to chase it down and score.
Shaw Cross held on for the victory and almost scored again but Thomas Ripley was held up on the line a minute from time.
While the game proved a useful pre-season work out for both sides, it also allowed friends and family to gather and remember former Celtic player Ben Restall.
Over £1,000 was also raised during the day for the Friends in Deed charity, who helped Ben and his family throughout his illness.
Sharks final pre-season game tomorrow (Friday) as they travel to National Conference Division Three side Eastmoor Dragons.