Shaw Cross overcome Mirfield Stags in Jim Brown Cup

Mirfield's Phil Shotton and Alex Muff tackle a Shaw Cross attacker during Wednesday's Jim Brown Cup tie. Pic: David Wood.
Mirfield's Phil Shotton and Alex Muff tackle a Shaw Cross attacker during Wednesday's Jim Brown Cup tie. Pic: David Wood.

Shaw Cross Sharks defeated local rivals Mirfield Stags 41-22 on Wednesday night to book their place in the Heavy Woollen ARL Jim Brown Cup semi-final.

It was the Stags first outing in the competition and although they dominated for long periods, it was the National Conference League side who progressed.

The Sharks victory was marred by a serious knee injury to captain Andrew Fawkes, sustained in the build up to the last try of the game.

Sharks started well and were 12-0 ahead inside the first 20 minutes.

The first try came after a neat offload from James Davies sent Rourke over to score.

Sam Ottewell continued his impressive start to the season when the half-back danced through four tackles to cross between the posts. Ryan Chalkley added both conversions.

Mirfield replied with successive tries, late in the first half, to move to within two points of the Sharks.

The returning Sam Crowther pulled a try back, with Ross Hayden converting and on the stroke of half-time Stags half-back Graham Charlesworth fired a looping pass and Danny Howard got on the end of it to score in the corner.

Hayden kicked an early second half penalty to level at 12-12 before the Stags went ahead as Hayden chased his own kick-through and pounced on the ball to score to the right of the posts.

He added the extras and Mirfield led 18-12.

Shaw Cross then delivered a hammer blow in response.

Rourke ran 50 metres, bypassing two Stags defenders before passing to Ottewell, who finished brilliantly.

Chalkley converted to level once more.

Tom Rodgers then made a fantastic weaving run through the Mirfield defence to score between the posts and give Chalkley a simple goal.

Tom Coates got on the end of a Hayden bomb to score and reduce the deficit to two points and set up a thrilling final 10 minutes.

Shaw Cross finished the stronger as Fawkes offloaded to Ottewell, who sent Chalkley speeding over by the posts and he again converted.

Greg Wilby added a sixth try and Chalkley maintained his 100 per cent kicking record with a sixth goal to give the Sharks a 14-point lead.

Will Gledhill tagged on a drop goal and added the final try of the match.

Fawkes broke the Mirfield line and Gledhill was in support to score, although the Sharks captain was badly injured in the build up.

An ambulance called and the Shaw Cross atmosphere changed from ecstasy to worry for Rourke.

There was no time for the conversion to be taken but the Sharks were safely through to the semi-final, where they meet Dewsbury Celtic.