Injury-hit Sharks produce excellent effort at Thatto

Shaw Cross Sharks battled hard despite defeat.
Shaw Cross Sharks battled hard despite defeat.

Shaw Cross Sharks suffered a 30-0 defeat at Thatto Heath Crusaders last Saturday as they remain in trouble near the foot of National Conference Division One.

The Sharks currently have an unprecedented injury list which is hitting them hard, as they were forced to make six changes from the previous week’s winning line up at Millom.

The Sharks were up against the table topping St Helens side but started brightly with some early pressure and set completion.

Thatto thwarted the Sharks’ efforts and went ahead after 10 minutes when their international centre raced clear from 30 metres.

Full-back Sam Ottewell almost turned him on his back but he touched down with his free hand to give Crusaders a 6-0 lead.

The Sharks responded with some fast attacking play with Danny Flowers and then Steve Shaw breaching the home defence only to be held up over the line.

Shaw Cross were denied again when a clever offload from Brandan French saw Joe Halloran bundled into touch near the corner flag.

Thatto Heath’s well drilled defence kept the Sharks out and when they broke away the Crusaders pacy Kiwi full-back supported to dive in the corner and make it 12-0 after 30 minutes.

Impressive defence from Zak Parkinson, Dickie Piper, James Davies and Ben Spaven rocked the home side.

Matthew Tebb attempted to launch further attacks, while there was some good kicking from Andy Tillotson but on the stroke of half-time, Thatto went further ahead with a scrappy try which followed a knock on, although the 18-0 the scoreline flattered the hosts.

The Sharks had a good start to the second half, applying pressure and going close on several occasions through Dave Hudson, Will Poching and Nathan Wright .

Thatto failed to add to their lead until the final 10 minutes when the Sharks effort took its toll.

Thatto posted two late converted tries to send the Sharks home pointless but it was a good effort from the team with stand out performers in Jake Dooner, Shaw, Wright, Tebb and MoM Ottewell.

The team effort is something the Sharks can build on as they look to pull clear of danger. They face another tough away day in Wigan this Saturday when they travel to mid-table Ince Rose Bridge.