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Under 13s Match Reports, 2019

Sharlston Rovers U13s 30 v Stanley Rangers U13s 16

We had hoped to build on our success from last week to stay top of the table, but came unstuck against a determined Sharlston side who knew how to exploit their wings in front of a vocal home crowd.  
Sometimes game day just doesn’t go to plan! And even in the warm-up we were less focussed than in previous matches. Harvey Harrap tweaking his hamstring to force a change in a starting line-up already rejigged to take account of missing half Dan Hagan. Sharlston did their best to help us along by starting very slowly and allowing usual suspects Rowan Keenan and Luke Nicholls to score early on. Keenan converting one to put 10 points on the board without reply – but once the home side woke up it was a different story.   With only a few exceptions, Ranger’s defence was poor across the park and despite another solid performance from winger Kyan Denton, Sharlston were able to get over the line three times before half-time. They failed to convert any, so the score at half-time gave Rangers an even chance at only 10-12 down.  

The second half was Rangers’ to take but Sharlston scored first and although Rangers fought back with a full-length run by loose forward Thomas Leaver to score under the posts and give Thomas Hayes his best opportunity to convert. Rangers’ performance then fell away and Sharlston finished deserved 30-16 winners. Rangers’ only glimmer of hope coming from a short-kick off which allowed Louie Austin-Lee to force an error and drop on the loose ball. 

Leaver and Will Dobson put in strong performances with centre and vice-captain Olly Fitzsimons in support, and Harley Sharratt did his best to impress in his first game for the club, but Hayes at lone half-back struggled to keep a sometimes ill-disciplined pack in order and Rangers were also sidetracked by impact injuries to Keenan. Returning as hooker Tylor Lindsey and stalwart centre and vice-captain Elliot Dixon-Griffiths, all caused by a hard pitch surface but thankfully none serious.  

Dobson took Players’ Man of the Match and Man of Steel, with Coaches’ Man of the Match awarded to Leaver and Keenan impressing the Sharlston coaches to win Opponents’ Man of the Match.

The next game is at home to Milford Marlins.

Match report sent in by Kath Hayes.

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