Battling Royals emerge with plenty of credit

Stand-off Steve Dooler gets Sharlston Rovers moving in Saturday's BARLA National Cup  quarterfinal against Methley  Royals. PICTURE: MATTHEW MERRICK.
Stand-off Steve Dooler gets Sharlston Rovers moving in Saturday's BARLA National Cup quarterfinal against Methley Royals. PICTURE: MATTHEW MERRICK.

Pennine League Division One leaders Methley Royals lost 48-22 at Premier Division Sharlston Rovers in Saturday’s BARLA National Cup quarterfinal.

Sharlston’s clinical display earned them a semi-final trip to Batley Boys or Nevison Leap but Methley emerged from the game with plenty of credit.

The outcome could perhaps have been different but for a definitive 10-minute period straddling the break.

Methley, who battled back from 12-4 down to snatch a 16-12 advantage, thought they had extended their lead when winger Josh Dixon collected a pin-point kick by scrum-half Andy Speake on 33 minutes to cross in the corner.

However, the effort was ruled out for offside and Sharlston made the most of the let-off by regaining the lead with a try from impressive stand-off Steve Dooler.

It was quickly followed by a try from Adam Saynor, with Ian Jackson adding the fourth of his eight goals to put Rovers 24-16 up at the break.

Despite those setbacks, Methley began the second period strongly and twice went close to scoring in the opening minute.

Sharlston’s Gareth Davies then crashed over to put the hosts further ahead but the Royals were far from finished and cut the gap to eight points with a try by Andy Matthews that Speake goaled.

Sharlston, however, sealed victory in the final quarter with further touchdowns from Sean Emblem and Davies. Ryan Mallinder and Lee Lingard also crossed for Sharlston.

Dixon, Stu Biscomb and Chris Woolford were Methley’s other try scorers.

Matty Handforth, Dave Williams, Jon Paul Briers, Alan White, Adam Biscomb, Dean Sampson, Richard Scott, Matty Jackson, John Hughes and Ben Waring also shone for Methley who visit Drighlington in the Pennine League’s President’s Cup semi-finals on Saturday (2.30pm).