Dewsbury Celtic staged a dramatic late fight-back to defeat Shaw Cross Sharks 26-25 in a cracking National Conference Division One derby.
A large crowd descended on Crow Nest Park for the opening day of the Conference summer season and they were not disappointed as both sides served up a cracking contest.
Celtic clinched promotion to the first division with a dramatic final day victory over Shaw Cross 18 months ago but last Saturday’s comeback win perhaps surpassed that.
Celtic struck first when centre Matty Sheridan scored an unconverted try wide out and things got worse for the Sharks when they had a player sent off.
The Sharks showed terrific character to battle back and level matters before a second unconverted try put them 8-4 ahead.
Shaw Cross continued to press, despite being a man down and a third try, this time converted by Casey Johnson, extended their lead to 10 points.
Shaw Cross scored again and although Celtic pulled one back, an Andrew Tillotson drop goal, followed by a fifth Sharks try, improved by Johnson, appeared to have put the visitors on course for victory as they led 25-10.
Aiden Chandler (two), Ben Spaven, Thomas Stuckey and Ross Roebuck were the Sharks try scorers but Celtic then produced a dramatic comeback, led by Sheridan.
The centre ran in a 12-minute hat-trick to end with four tries.
Celtic’s other try came from winger Anthony Dunford and in a thrilling finale, the home side scored wide out in the last minute to make it 25-24.
Pat Foulstone held his nerve to land a superb touchline goal, his third of the afternoon, to earn the derby bragging rights.
Shaw Cross Sharks will be aiming to bounce back from their derby defeat to Celtic when they entertain York Acorn in their first home game of the season this Saturday.
Celtic travel to Normanton Knights buoyed by last week’s dramatic last-minute win and the home side should also be full of confidence after they overcame Acorn 18-16 in their opening match.