Understrength Shaw Cross slip to defeat

Adam Masson scored the Sharks first try.
Adam Masson scored the Sharks first try.

An understrength Shaw Cross Sharks side suffered a 22-16 defeat at home to Normanton Knights in National Conference League Division One last Saturday.

Despite making changes due to injuries and holidays, the Sharks pressed early on and a fine short pass by John Rourke opened the Knights’ defence for Adam Masson to burst clear and round the full-back for a fine try.

Johnson’s conversion attempt was narrowly wide but the Sharks then scored again when quick handling from Masson and Robbie Byatt saw Aiden Kay free.

Kay sprinted clear from 40 metres to score wide out and a superb touchline conversion from Will Poching put the home side 10-0 up.

The Knights forwards worked hard and a clever cut out pass from Mulcahy put Alexander through from close range. Mulcahy added the extras to reduce the half-time deficit to 10-6.

The Knights were first to score after the break when good handling put Evans through for the first of his brace. Mulcahy’s conversion put the visitors 12-10 ahead.

The Sharks hit back five minutes later when a pinpoint Jordan Anderson kick was followed up by Poching to touch down between the posts, with Johnson converting.

Normanton went ahead in controversial circumstances when Wilson crossed wide out and the conversion attempt appeared to be wide but was awarded as the Knights edged back in front at 18-16.

Shaw Cross attempted to reply but a lost ball in the tackle saw the Knights storm away and Evans scored an unconverted try to seal victory.

Despite defeat, the Sharks had performed well but their failure to convert some good attacking moves proved costly.

Good performances came from Matty Byatt, Jack Gledhill, Ross Roebuck and Tom Rogers along with half-backs Poching and Jordan Anderson.

The Sharks are without a game this weekend and travel to Milford on Saturday, July 11 looking for a return to winning ways.