Byatt’s late try sees Sharks progress in Challenge Cup

Australian Robbie Byatt dives over for the equalising score in a dramatic Ladbrokes Challenge Cup first round tie.
Australian Robbie Byatt dives over for the equalising score in a dramatic Ladbrokes Challenge Cup first round tie.

Shaw Cross Sharks secured a dramatic 18-16 victory over York Acorn to set up a Challenge Cup second round trip to Normanton Knights.

The Sharks trailed 10-0 at half-time and were 16-6 behind going into the final quarter before mounting a superb comeback.

New Australian recruit Robbie Byatt was making his Sharks debut and produced a man-of-the-match display, capped by the crucial try two minutes from full-time, which levelled matters.

Danny Flowers landed the conversion to send Shaw Cross into this Saturday’s second round clash at Normanton.

Shaw Cross dominated the early stages of the game but errors in the final third proved costly.

York opened the scoring when they marched forward and a sweeping crossfield move allowed Ryan Gallagher to score an unconverted try in the right corner.

The Sharks tackling set the tone with big hits stifling their opposition and often penned York back.

Sloppy passing from the Sharks led to a turnover in the York half and Jack Byrnes grabbed a try, converted by Anthony Chiltern, to give Acorn an unlikely 10-0 interval lead.

Shaw Cross were given a glimmer of hope in the second half when Greg Wilby battled his way through the defence and forced his way over for a try which Flowers improved.

Flowers quickly turned villain when an unfortunate fumble near his own line allowed Nick Speck to score and restore York’s 10-point lead with 22 minutes remaining.

The major turning point came after an hour when indiscipline from the York side led to Matthew Woods being sent off .

The Acorn second row was originally sin-binned for a high tackle but the card was changed to red when he disputed the decision with the referee.

The Sharks took advantage, piling on the pressure and just eight minutes later, substitute Sam Otterwell broke away to score an unconverted try and give the Sharks hope at 16-12.

York hung in valiantly but couldn’t get any fluidity going and surrendered possession more readily, gifting the Sharks possession and impetus to mount further pressure.

Byatt levelled the scores when he sprinted over in the right corner for a 78th minute try.

Flowers landed a superb touchline conversion to complete the comeback and secure a dramatic win, which sees the Sharks into the second round.