Shaw Cross Sharks booked their place in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup second round with a hard-fought 18-0 victory over determined opponents Beverley last Saturday.
A superb defensive display by Zach Johnson’s side was a key factor in the win as they continually thwarted Beverley’s attacking threat.
The Sharks opened the scoring with an early Luke Hudson try which Shaun Squires converted on his second debut having returned to his home club following spells at Batley Bulldogs and Dewsbury Rams.
Shaw Cross knocked on at the kick off and Beverley were then awarded a penalty for a high tackle but excellent defence saw the Sharks hold out as they forced the visitors to kick dead on the last tackle.
The Sharks were forced to defend again as they lost possession on the second tackle but once more they held out.
Having marched upfield on the back of a penalty neat play by acting half-back Jamie Searby allowed Steve Talbot to crash over for their second try and Squires again converted.
Chris Shires made an immediate impact having come off the bench as he produced a huge tackle on a Beverley prop forward but the Sharks were dealt a blow when centre Eddie Medforth limped off having produced an impressive stint on debut.
Another fine attacking move by Shaw Cross was finished off by Sam Ottewell and Squires landed his third goal of the first half to put his side in control at 18-0.
Beverley again launched a wave of attacks as they attempted to hit back but the superb Sharks defence repelled three consecutive sets close to their line in the lead up to half-time.
The second half was scrappy and error strewn.
Paul March produced a deft kick to the in-goal area but the Sharks were unable to pounce for the try, while at the other end more excellent defending denied Beverley a chance to pull a try back.
Sharks winger Joe Halloran forced a turnover 40 metres out and Naughton’s short pass looked to have put Chalkley over but it was ruled forward.
More excellent defence in the latter stages ensured the Sharks kept their line in tact with one crunching tackle by March typified their superb effort which helped ensured they progressed and book a second round trip to Oulton this Saturday.
Picture special of the Sharks Challenge Cup win in Thursday’s Dewsbury Reporter and Batley News.