SHAW CROSS beat Dewsbury Celtic 26-20 in a fiercely-contested derby at Crow Nest Park on Saturday afternoon.
Joe Buggle’s try five minutes from time proved the difference as Sharks held off a spirited second-half fightback.
Shaw Cross head coach Brett Turner was pleased with his side in the first half but feels that too much complacency creeped in, in the second 40 minutes.
“I don’t think I can take a positive from that second half at all,” said Turner. “We were just really dumb, we tend to do that at times whenever we get in front and we need to get that out of us. I do think we have improved gradually every game and I hope to see more improvement in our last pre-season game against Eastmoor on Friday.”
Celtic coach Danny Thomas felt his team showed a lot of desire and was pleased with their performance. He said: “I’m happy, we have got a young group and it is about the future for us, we got relegated last year and it is all about building for this season and next. Today was just a stepping stone, it’s a local derby which got a bit heated at times, we came across a bigger team and a more experienced team but I think we held our own so I’m happy.”
Shaw Cross stormed into a 20-point lead in 20 first-half minutes. Danny Flowers was first on the scoresheet as he received the ball on the right wing and barged through the tacklers to get the ball down with 18 minutes played.
Aiden Chandler was next over as he broke the line 10 metres out to score. Fantastic play from Sam Ottewell and Nathan Smith allowed the Sharks to move off their own line and score with a 100m set.
The visitors were in a confident mood and scored their third try when Tom Griffiths forced his way over the line from close range.
Chandler doubled his personal tally for the afternoon as he managed to squeeze his arm out of the tackle to get the ball down and give Shaw Cross a 20-point advantage.
Nathan Smith was then sent to the sin-bin for a high tackle. Celtic took full advantage of the extra man and scored from the next set.
They had three Foulstone brothers on show, with Mike and Pat starting the game, but it was youngest brother Paul who came off the bench and produced a man of the match performance.
Paul got the first try as he stepped inside off the right wing and raced over and he caused problems for Shaw Cross at the beginning of the second half as he scored his and Celtic’s second try. Quick feet saw him jink through the Sharks defence to score.
The hosts looked to have scored their third only minutes later as Josh West picked the ball from dummy half but he was held up just short of the line.
Jacob Lindley did get Celtic’s third try when he gathered a magnificent offload from Paul Foulstone on the left wing to cut the gap to four points.
Buggle’s try came at the perfect time for Cross as he quelled the fightback. He found a gap to give his team a 10-point lead.
The home side were last on the scoreboard as Dominic Senior chipped the ball over the defence and showed lightning speed to chase the ball down to score. Pat Foulstone added two goals.
Cross held on for the victory and almost reached the 30-point mark but Thomas Ripley was held up on the line a minute from time.
Over £1,000 was raised for the Friends in Deed charity.