Shaw Cross Sharks gave themselves a much need confidence boost as they produced a clinical performance to overcome Batley Boys 44-16 and reach the Jim Brown Heavy Woollen Cup final for the third consecutive season.
Sam Ottewell led the way with a hat-trick of tries as the Sharks ran in eight scores last Wednesday.
Shaw Cross got off to the perfect start as they opened the scoring inside the first minute.
Luke Hudson kicked over the defence and Aiden Scully was alert and ran onto the ball before easing past a Batley Boys tackler to score.
Sam Ottewell sent a cut out pass to Ross Roebuck on the wing and he burst down the line before feeding the ball back inside to the supporting Ottewell who dived over for his first try.
Josh Whitehead responded for Batley as the Shaw Cross tacklers fell off the centre who touched down.
Roebuck was tackled close to the line but Ottewell picked the ball from acting half-back and forced his way to the line to give Shaw Cross breathing space.
The hosts began to turn the screw as minutes in the second half as Matthew Tebb provided a lovely ball for Dickie Piper to crash over from close range.
With Casey Johnson missing from the Sharks line-up Nathan Smith was handed the kicking duties and landed his fourth conversion.
Batley responded as full-back Jay Jay Price provided a short ball for Whitehead who darted through a gap to score his second try before the Boys had Adam Bingham sent to the sin-bin shortly after for dissent.
The Sharks punished the 12 men almost immediately as Adam Masson’s offload went to ground but Smith was alert to pick up and jink his way over for a try.
Tebb then played the ball to Ottewell who stepped his way past the tackler and touched down to complete his hat-trick.
Aaron James reduced the Sharks’ advantage as he barged his way to the line to score by the posts.
Scrum-half Paul March scored Shaw Cross’ seventh try with a superb solo effort, as he broke the line 40 metres out before evading the on-rushing full-back to get the ball down.
March then turned provider as he popped the ball up for Ash Lindsay who barrelled through the tackle and shrugged off another three men to score with the final play of the game.
The Sharks return toNational Conference Division One action on Saturday, when they travel to Normanton Knights.
The Sharks lie seventh in the table, four points outside the play-off places and face a tough test away to a Normanton side who a third and looking to maintain the pressure on joint leaders Underbank and Hunslet Club Parkside.