Slow start proves costly as Shaw Cross slip to home defeat to Normanton

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Shaw Cross Sharks recovered from a poor start but it wasn’t enough to prevent a 40-30 defeat at home to Normanton Knights in National Conference League Division One last Saturday.

The Sharks got off to a nightmare start and they conceded two tries in the opening five minutes.

The first came from an interception by Connor Taylor before a break on the left wing allowed James Sinkew to go over.

Shaw Cross kicked into life and almost fought back to level matters.

Casey Johnson made a darting run towards the line before producing a clever offload which allowed Andrew Tillotson to barge over but the scorer was forced off with a dead leg soon after.

Johnson found Brandan French who went over for the Sharks second try, while a Johnson goal reduced the arrears to 12-10.

Shaw Cross were made to pay for a knock on from the restart as Normanton scored from the resulting scrum.

Normanton then extended their lead soon after as another break down the left saw them go between the posts.

The Sharks responded with their third try before the break when Sam Ottewell broke the line before moving the ball back inside for Paul March to cross between the posts.

March was forced off with a leg injury only minutes into the second half, meaning the Sharks had lost both half-backs.

Scott Talbot was called to lead the home side from scrum-half and played a key role in the Sharks’ second half tries.

Normanton broke down the middle of the field to score their fifth try of the game but the Shaw Cross bench were left frustrated as they felt there was a forward pass in the build up.

Talbot picked up a loose ball and moved it out wide to Benjamin Spaven, who in turn flicked it to winger Joe Halloran and he scored at the corner.

Normanton were put on a team warning after numerous penalties on their own line and Chris Woolford was sent to the sin-bin a minute later for a dangerous tackle on Casey Johnson.

Shaw Cross were unable to make the most of the extra man as they were pulled back for a forward pass from the resulting penalty.

Normanton moved swiftly to the other end of the field and after the Sharks conceded a succession of penalties, the Knights took advantage to power over from close range.

Spaven and Halloran combined for a second time when the Sharks went over for their fifth try of the game.

Spaven was held up over the line but was on hand to provide the assist for Halloran to grab his second try of the game as they closed to within 10 points of the Knights.

Taylor went over for his second of the game with five minutes remaining to put his side out of sight.

Taylor had kicked all six conversions up to this point but was off target for the first time.

Nathan Wright added a consolation for Shaw Cross with the last play of the game, a beautifully weighted crossfield kick from Johnson finding Wright who gathered the ball well to score.

Shaw Cross take a break from action this week but return on April 22 with a trip to Humberside outfit Hull Dockers.