Youthful Sharks slip to defeat after showing early promise against Bowling

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A youthful Shaw Cross Sharks team put in a valiant effort despite slipping to a 34-14 defeat at home to West Bowling in National Conference League Division Two last Saturday.

With four Under-18 players in the line-up, including debuts for Billy Aveyard, Callum Burden and Eoin Dowie, Shaw Cross were the better side in the first half before fading in the second.

West Bowling made a fast start, scoring the first try in the opening minutes through Daniel Gregory with Harry Williams converting.

However, the Sharks hit back when winger Joe Halloran’s unconverted try wide on the right reduced the deficit to two points.

Shaw Cross were getting the better of their visitors as the half went on and scored two tries in the space of six minutes to get in front.

Callum Barker got the first before captain Dec Naughton went over, with Barker converting the latter effort to give Shaw Cross a 14-6 lead.

However, there was still time for Ben Heald to score for West Bowling, and they were given an additional kick as Nathan Wright was penalised and sent to the sin bin, and the sides went into half-time level.

West Bowling made the extra man count at the start of the second half as Richard Lumb touched down to put them back in front, and their momentum continued against a tiring outfit.

Kieron Baker crossed for a try to extend Bowling’s lead to 22-14 before two Christopher Watson tries, both converted by Williams, stretched them into an unassailable lead as they remain third in the table, a point behind Bradford rivals Dudley Hill with a game in hand.

The Sharks are second-bottom, two points above Askam and two behind East Leeds having won two of their opening eight matches.

They visit Crosfields on Saturday with their opponents slipping a place to seventh following last week’s 38-30 defeat to Wigan St Judes.

Following their trip to Crosfields, the Sharks face three consecutive home games against St Judes, Barrow Island and Dudley Hill as they look to climb out of the danger zone.