SHAW CROSS SHARKS opened their league campaign with an agonising 24-22 away defeat to Underbank.
An Underbank penalty goal five minutes from time decided matters. The Sharks had the experience of former Super League star Paul March and ex-Batley Bulldogs forward Ash Lindsay to call on and looked a different side to the one who slumped to defeat at Eastmoor two weeks ago.
Head coach Brett Turner believed his side deserved to win. “We have massively improved from our pre-season games, there have been a couple of players who have come into the team which have made a big difference, they lifted everyone around them,” said Turner.
“I am bitterly disappointed not to win, we had the better of the game and really should have won.”
Shaw Cross were first over the line through Nathan Wright, who took an offload from Brandan French to score in the corner.
He Wright almost doubled his tally minutes later but knocked the ball on just short.
Underbank levelled proceedings when winger Alex Chatterton intercepted the ball 10 metres from his own line and went the distance.
Nathan Smith looked to have put Sharks ahead as he chipped and chased but the ref deemed the ball dead.
Luke Pogson and Johnathan Tinker put Underbank clear but Shaw Cross rallied and they scored twice for an interval lead.
Sam Ottewell ran onto a pass from March to score then. March himself scored with the last play of the half from a clever French offload, and Danny Flowers made it three kicks from three from the touchline.
A Tinker try edged Ramnngers in front and Sharks chose to level, then go ahead with two Flowers penalties of their own.
It wasn’t to be though, as the home time took two penalties in the last nine minutes for the win. Shaw Cross host newly-promoted Hunslet Club Parkside tomorrow (2.30pm).