Ruthless Sharks off foot of table after terrific victory

Steve Talbot crossed for his first try of the season as Shaw Cross Sharks overcame Askam to move off the foot of National Conference Division Two last Saturday. Picture: Allan McKenzie
Steve Talbot crossed for his first try of the season as Shaw Cross Sharks overcame Askam to move off the foot of National Conference Division Two last Saturday. Picture: Allan McKenzie

Shaw Cross Sharks moved off the bottom of National Conference League Division Two after a resounding 52-8 victory over Askam last Saturday.

The Sharks only led by two points at the break against their fellow strugglers, but a blistering second-half display saw them blow away the Cumbrian side to move within a point of third-bottom East Leeds.

The Sharks got off to a fantastic start with a try inside two minutes as Greg Wilby made a break down the right and offloaded for Michael Wainwright to run in.

Shaw Cross came under pressure following their opening score though and eventually it told as Zak Steel went over from acting half-back after Ben Lewney was tackled close to the line.

Askam continued to attack and took the lead when Grady Slater collected Todd Steel’s pass to score.

Ryan Ospital was sent to the sin-bin for conceding a penalty after the Sharks had been placed on a team warning but they survived the following 10 minutes without any further damage.

The Sharks hit back to regain the lead a minute before half-time when Luke Hudson did well to force a knock-on from Askam close to their line and a quick move to the left saw Brad Baines score.

Sebastian Boudie added a brilliant goal from the touchline and went on to convert all seven of the Sharks tries in a second-half rout.

The Sharks made a quick start following the kick-off, with Boudie finding Baines for his second try on the end of another slick move from right to left.

Harrison Sutcliffe went close to another score before Shaw Cross increased their lead when Dec Brereton drove at the defence from the first play following a penalty and offloaded for Wainwright to complete his own brace.

Shaw Cross had to work hard in defence to repel pressure from Askam, before cutting loose to run in five tries in the final 17 minutes.

Steve Talbot touched down for his first try of the season before a brilliant individual try from Callum Barker saw him dummy a defender to go over.

Elliott Richardson then charged over for the next try and Dec Brereton added his name to the scoresheet after Wainwright had been denied his hat-trick.

The Sharks hit the half-century with two minutes remaining as Andrew Tillotson darted over for the final try.

Delighted Sharks coach Mark Barlow said: “I know what this team is capable of.

“We seem to be getting there slowly but surely, and this win is part of that recovery to trying to become a better team.

“We haven’t had the best season, and for every point we’ve earned we’ve had to really dig deep and scrape a win or a draw, but we managed to score 52 points, and to score 52 points against any team at any level is an achievement.

“We came for the win, we got the win, and I just want the lads to enjoy it because it’s been a long time coming.”

The Sharks aim to build on their success when they visit Hull Dockers on Saturday.