Shaw Cross Sharks proved too strong for a determined Dewsbury Celtic as they ran out 28-10 winners in the John Kane A Team Cup Final at Tetley’s Stadium.
The clash proved a decent appetiser for the main event later last Thursday evening and there were some quality individual displays.
Nathan Lawrence had a superb game at full-back for Celtic, setting up both his side’s tries and he is surely destined to play at a higher level in the near future.
Sharks prop Richard Piper proved a handful each time he got the ball, which is not surprising considering he is captain of Cleckheaton RU, who are preparing for life in union’s National League Three.
The Sharks struck first when winger Jay Webster was on the end of a passing move to break the Celtic defence and touch down after 12 minutes, with centre Alex Whittaker tagging on the conversion.
Celtic replied with a lovely worked try as scrum-half Adam Egan sent a cracking pass out wide to Lawrence and he slipped the ball back inside for Josh Sykes to cross wide out.
Zak Parkinson added the Sharks second try before half-time but Whittaker was unable to convert but Shaw Cross led 10-4.
Both sides had chances after the break with a surging Piper run held close to the posts for Cross, before Celtic replied with a sustained spell of pressure, which the Sharks withheld.
Dec Ellis made a storming and although he was held close to the posts, Zak Parkinson darted over for the try, which Whittaker converted.
Celtic hit back with a wonderful piece of skill by Lawrence, who kicked ahead and regathered before feeding Ryan Sandham on the outside.
The Celtic winger looked to be bundled into touch but brilliantly flicked the ball back to Lawrence, who sent Connor Meese over for the try.
Lawrence converted and Celtic had hope at 16-10.
The Sharks finished stronger and added two tries in the final five minutes as MoM Piper stormed through and sent Matty Collett crashing over before Dec Naughton sold a dummy and raced away for their fifth try.
Whittaker tagged on both goals and the Sharks celebrated the first part of a memorable cup double.
Shaw Cross Sharks A: Stuckley; Lonergan, Hardwick, Whittaker, Webster; Naughton, Bownass; Martin, Searby, Piper, warby, Parkinson, Collett.Subs: Burton, Bickerdike, Matthews, Ellis.
Dewsbury Celtic A: Lawrence; Sandham, Sykes, Whitworth, Smith; Tillotson, Egan; Clough, Buckley, O’Donnell, Foster, Meese, Knowles. Subs: Wallace, Anderson, Walker, Briggs.
Referee: Nick Bennett. TJ’s: Wayne Barker & Jack Broadbent.