London based Wests Warriors picked up the inaugural Kevin Squires Memorial Trophy as they defeated Shaw Cross Sharks 20-12 in a friendly at Leeds Road last Saturday.
The game was held in memory of Shaw Cross honorary life member Kevin Squires, who passed away last week, with a minute’s silence being held before kick off.
It was the first meeting between the clubs, with the visitors only being formed in 2014 but they were unbeaten in the London Premier League last year.
It was a new look Shaw Cross side on duty, with only five of the starting 13 having played in the team’s final home game of the 2016 season.
Shaw Cross were quickest out of the blocks making several breaks in the Warriors line and were rewarded with the first try of the game after 10 minutes.
Debutant centre Tom Griffiths received the ball on the right wing after a flowing move gave him the space to score and Danny Flowers landed a towering touchline goal.
Warriors withstood further Sharks pressure as Sam Ottewell was sent through a gap but stopped in his tracks by a solid tackle before the visitors hit back.
A menacing kick high into the in goal area was not dealt with by the Sharks back line and prop forward Brendan Smith pounced on the loose ball to score and reduce the half-time deficit to 6-4.
The beginning of the second half was strewn with errors as both sides repeatedly knocked on.
The visitors made the most of the errors from the Sharks and took the lead when winger Brad Aird was on the end of a swift passing move toward the left wing and raced over the line and behind the posts.
The Sharks were not behind for long as five minutes later stand-off Danny Flowers brilliantly intercepted the ball as he leaped to gather a Warriors pass before racing behind the posts to put the hosts back in control, with Roebuck taking over the kicking duties to convert.
It would prove to be the Sharks last score of the afternoon as Wests regained the lead 10 minutes later.
Aird went in for his second try of the game as he touched the ball down in the left corner and Blayde Fiu was on hand to land the conversion and put Wests into a two point lead.
Tempers boiled over as the game began to reach it’s close with both teams being involved in a brawl, which saw Wests substitutes run onto the pitch and get involved before both coaches rushed on to calm matters down.
Warriors sealed the victory on the stroke of full-time as Jarred Bassett powered through several tacklers to score at the side of the posts and Fiu was on hand to again land the conversion and seal his side’s victory.
Shaw Cross head coach Brett Turner remained positive and was pleased with his sides overall performance despite the result.
He said: “We got what we needed out of the game. A good, physical run out and a look at some of the new boys.
“We went with too many on the bench, which disrupted us.”