SHAW CROSS Sharks’ slow start to their National Conference League Division One campaign continues after a 30-22 home defeat to Thatto Heath Crusaders.
Sharks may count themselves a little unlucky in this fixture but their slow start ultimately proved costly.
The visitors went ahead in the opening few minutes with a well-worked try. And when the conversion was successful the hosts were immediately on the back foot.
The Sharks did reply soon after however, scoring an unconverted try through Ryan Chalkley.
The first half was frantic and with just over 20 minutes gone the away side extended their lead.
But the missed conversion from Thatto spurred the hosts on and when Ross Roebuck got himself a try and Danny Flowers kicked the goal the scores were level once again.
But the Crusaders weren’t to be denied a half-time lead and following a 40/20 they got another try – to the anger of Shaw Cross coach Brett Turner, who received a warning for his protests.
With a six-point deficit the home side had their work cut out but a bright start to the second half gave the spectators optimism.
Roebuck turned the Sharks’ dominance into points with his second try.
In a topsy-turvy encounter the away side got the seventh try of the game to retake the lead, despite calls for a forward pass in the build-up to the touchdown.
The Sharks’ fight was valiant throughout and Chalkley got his second try of the game to put the pressure on Thatto in the closing stages.
But with 15 minutes remaining the away side extended their advantage with another try.
However Shaw Cross only needed a converted try for the win, but their efforts came to nothing and the hosts were hit with a sucker punch when the Crusaders crossed for their final try a minute from time in an entertaining match for the neutral.
The Sharks hope to bounce back at home against Milford Marlins after the Easter break and secure their first win of the season.