Shaw Cross Sharks A got their third win on the bounce with a 18-14 victory to stay in touch of top spot in Division Two, in what was a very tough test against bottom side East Leeds.
It was the visitors who struck first after a one-on-one ball steal from the carrier Ryan Chalkley.
It looked as if there may have been two men in the tackle, but the referee waved play on and the Sharks defence were caught napping. East Leeds went clean through to score.
It took 25 minutes for the Sharks to break a strong Leeds’ defence.
A scintillating pass from stand-off Ryan Stuckey to scrum-half Jamie Searby, followed by a wicked dummy, saw Shaw Cross go over the whitewash. Alex Whittaker converted to level the scores.
The Sharks’ defence also stood firm as East Leeds could not break the line. Big hits from Casey Johnson and captain Zac Parkinson frustrated the visitors.
With Shaw Cross looking solid, in strange circumstances the away side kicked two drop goals which gave them an 8-6 lead going into half-time.
The second half saw the introduction of seasoned performer Johnny Numa and Australian Matthew Byatt – who ended the game as man of the match.
It wasn’t long before Parkinson went over after Byatt, Numa and Johnson earned some good yards in the first set of the second half. This was helped by the boot of Whittaker, who converted and nudged the Sharks further in front.
This was before East Leeds responded with a converted try of their own, handing them the lead once again.
However eight minutes before the end, a break from Johnson saw him race away and set up Chalkley to sprint clear and go under the sticks.
Whittaker rounded off the scoring to make it 18-14 to the Sharks.