Sharks frustrated as Skirlaugh seal victory

John Rourke had a try disallowed but his crossfield kick set up Tom Ripley to score during Shaw Cross Sharks National Conference defeat to Skirlaugh.
John Rourke had a try disallowed but his crossfield kick set up Tom Ripley to score during Shaw Cross Sharks National Conference defeat to Skirlaugh.

Shaw Cross Sharks’ head coach Brett Turner was left fuming after his team suffered a 50-28 defeat at home to Skirlaugh last Saturday.

Turner felt his side were on the wrong end of several contentious decisions as they had two tries and a goal ruled out.

Skirlaugh raced into a 10-point lead inside the first five minutes as Ashley Learning got on the end of a cross-field kick to score in the corner before Mike Johnson crossed in the opposite corner.

Sharks responded well as a great pass from Adam Masson helped Danny Stanley exploit a gap to score in his first game for Sharks. Will Gledhill added the extras.

A skirmish broke out from a scrum which saw Stanley and Andy Burland sin-binned for the Sharks, with Paul Roberts and Scott Mountain also shown yellow cards as both sides were reduced to 11 men.

Five minutes later Skirlaugh extended their lead with Johnson’s second try of the game following another cross-field kick. Huge protests came from the Sharks bench as they felt the try should have been disallowed for offside.

The hosts were left furious after a moment of controversy saw Skirlaugh’s sin-binned players come back on the pitch while Burland and Stanley had not been instructed to return.

Shaw Cross conceded a fourth try when they had the ball ripped out in the first tackle and Johnson was on hand to complete his hat-trick.

Skirlaugh added to their lead on the stroke of half-time as a long kick was chased by substitute Marvin Lee who showed good pace to gather and score.

The Sharks looked to make a quick start to the second half and John Rourke pounced on a loose ball to run clear but was brought back for a penalty to the visitors.

Skirlaugh scored almost straight from the penalty as they moved left for Lee to grab his second try.

The visitors added two more tries, extending their lead to 38 points before Joe Halloran reduced the deficit as he gathered a loose ball and ran 50 metres to score.

The Sharks looked to have scored again through Nathan Wright but his try was ruled out after he was judged to have stepped into touch.

Sharks’ frustration was compounded as Skirlaugh scored when a brilliant looping pass put Sam Hick over.

Joe Buggle was sin-binned for dissent but the Sharks delivered a spirited response as Dec Brereton picked up a loose ball and sprinted 40 metres to score before Halloran got on the end of Will Gledhill’s clever grubber kick to cross.

Rourke’s cross-field kick bounced kindly for Tom Ripley to score his fifth try in six games but it wasn’t enough to prevent the Sharks slipping to a defeat that leaves them 12th in National Conference Division One with an important clash against Millom in two weeks’ time.