Ottewell leads way as Sharks hit half century

BARLA Under-19s international Sam Ottewell bagged a hat-trick of tries
BARLA Under-19s international Sam Ottewell bagged a hat-trick of tries

Shaw Cross Sharks boosted their hopes of a top-six finish in National Conference Division One with a 50-0 rout over Saddleworth.

The Sharks were brimming with confidence following their outstanding win over league leaders Normanton but Saddleworth were in determined mood and for the first 20 minutes it was scoreless.

Saddleworth’s big forwards piled on the pressure as the Sharks made unforced errors.

Cross eventually broke the deadlock when a clever kick from Danny Flowers saw Jack Gledhill pounce in the corner. Flowers’ conversion went narrowly wide.

The Sharks began to stretch the Rangers defence and a great break from Robbie Byatt saw Gledhill in support for his second try with Flowers converting.

The Sharks defence soaked up a spell of pressure before a smart offload from John Rourke saw Sam Ottewell sprint clear to score between the posts. Flowers goaled to make it 16-0 at the break.

Dickie Piper and Andy Burland’s hard running began to thwart the visitors aggressive style but a high tackle on Ryan Chalkley sparked a midfield fracas.

Chalkley was dismissed for retaliation with the instigator receiving 10 minutes in the sin-bin.

This sparked the Sharks into action and some great passing put Martin Woodhead over in the corner, Flowers missed the conversion but at 20-0 the visitors lost control of their discipline and had two players sin binned for backchat.

Shaw Cross capitalised with some fast attacking play when Robbie Byatt broke produced a slick pass to send Ottewell between the posts and give Flowers a simple goal.

Byatt then broke from 60 metres out used his support well to dummy and sprint clear for another six-pointer to extend the lead to 32-0.

Fawkes broke the line and fed Jordan Anderson, who in turn drew the full-back and put Ottewell through for his hat-trick before a strong burst and good offload from Piper put Brandan French away for another converted try.

Andrew Fawkes sold an outrageous dummy to break through the dispirited visitors defence to score the Sharks final try.

Flowers converted to bring up the half-century.

It was a good win for the Sharks who have a tough trip to Elland on Saturday.

With four home games remaining in the Sharks remaining matches, they remain in the hunt for a play-off spot, trailing Skirlaugh by just a point.

Anderson, Woodhead, Gledhill and Byatt in the backs with Casey Johnson, Rourke, Fawkes and French supporting the experienced Burland and Piper well in the forwards.

MoM was BARLA Under-18 international Ottewell who fully deserved his hat-trick of tries.