Serious neck injury taints impressive Sharks victory

Brandon French produced a man-of-the-match display as Shaw Cross ran out convincing winners against Elland.
Brandon French produced a man-of-the-match display as Shaw Cross ran out convincing winners against Elland.

Shaw Cross Sharks moved up to fifth place in National Conference Division One with a 50-6 victory away to Elland last Saturday.

However, the game was marred by a serious injury to Jordan Anderson, who suffered a broken neck in two places following a nasty challenge in the first half.

Anderson played for over 40 minutes before realising the seriousness of the injury.

Both defences were solid early on until the Sharks broke the deadlock when Tom Rogers sent Andrew Fawkes over for the first score.

Fawkes was fouled in the act of scoring with Casey Johnson converting and then tagging on the penalty to turn it into an eight-point score.

Further pressure resulted in Brandon French producing a smart inside ball to send Dickie Piper crashing over for a try near the posts, which Johnson converted.

Impressive Sharks defence thwarted Elland’s best moves, while a quick Shaw Cross counter saw Adam Masson outstrip the cover defence for another Sharks try.

Johnson’s trusty boot added the conversion as the Sharks led 20-0 after 30 minutes.

The home side were ill disciplined and when Rourke took a quick tap from a penalty, the defence was flat-footed as he romped over by the posts for another six pointer.

A strong break from Robbie Byatt produced the next Sharks try when he flicked out a superb pass to the supporting Sam Ottewell who sprinted clear to score, Johnson added the extras and at 32-0 the Sharks were well on top.

It was the Sharks’ best half of the season against the big aggressive Elland side who had been outplayed.

A brilliant pass from Will Poching saw Ottewell sprint away with Joe Halloran in support, a great supporting run from James Davies saw him dive over but the try was chalked off for a forward pass.

It didn’t take long for the Sharks to cross again as Robbie Byatt burst clear for a fine solo effort.

Smart play from Rogers and Anderson put French clear to score before Elland rallied with a consolation try.

Anderson, Ottewell and Rogers got 17 year-old Joe Halloran on the outside and he sprinted away for a nice try.

Another long range effort from the hardworking Jack Gledhill took the Sharks to 54-6 and the scoring was completed when Rogers dummied and burst clear from 40 metres to bring up the 60 points.

Johnson was in fine form with the boot landing 10 goals from 11 attempts.

The Sharks moved up to fifth place and are looking good to make the play offs. They entertain Pilkington Recs on September 5 aiming to continue their fine form.

MoM was 18-year-old Brandon French who showed great skill and toughness at stand-off.