The floodlights at Ince Rose Bridge were just firing up as this quarter final cup tie between fierce local rivals kicked off. The opening exhanges suggested that the teams were fairly evenly matched and so this proved throughout the first half. On balance the home team probably gained a slight territorial advantage during the half but both sides were practicing the basics of the game well with strong running and tight defence.
Rose Bridge had the opportunity to open the scoring when they were awarded a penalty kick under the post but it was squandered. Confusion followed the missed kick as the referee debated with the crowd the correct method to restart the game!
At the end of the first half the full blooded affords of both sides had failed to make an impression and the score was was nil - nil.
The Sharks started the second half the brighter team and in no time Shane Melling had crossed the line only for the referee to rule that the final pass had been forward. This was an ominous sign for Rose Bridge and Kyle Shelford made no mistake when he found a path to the line a few minutes later. He converted his own try and the score was 0 - 6.
The Sharks defended the restart vigorously and it wasn't too long before Kyle Shelford broke the line and fed Matt Boyers who was supporting well and had the pace to beat the defence to the line for the Sharks second try. Kyle Shelford converted again stretching the lead to 0 - 12.
Rose Bridge pulled one back when they followed through a ball chipped over on the sixth tackle. The referee adjudged that the home team had got to the ball first and awarded a try in the corner. This was converted with an excellent kick and the scoreline narrowed to 6 - 12.
The Sharks missed a chance to secure their lead when they knocked on over the line and it seemed, despite their lead, that the Sharks were the less composed of the two teams. Their nerves were calmed to a degree when Rikki Bailey crossed the line for an excellent individual try. Kyle Shelford converted and the score was 6 - 18.
There was time for one last fright for the Sharks as Rose Bridge took advantage of two repeat penalties to score in the corner. Once again the home side try was converted from the touchline begging a question how the first penalty kick attempt from under the post was missed!
The Sharks sealed victory minutes before the end of the game when JOSH HOUGHTON intelligently attempted and scored a drop goal. This brought the game to its final score of 12 - 19.
A good victory for the Sharks against who gained the clear advantage against a strong Rose Bridge team. Roll on he semi final!