Late Sharks rally secures victory over rivals Celtic in Restall Trophy clash

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Shaw Cross Sharks lifted the Ben Restall Trophy after defeating Dewsbury Celtic 20-10.

The sides were locked 10-10 with 15 minutes remaining but late tries from former Batley and Dewsbury centre Shaun Squires and Alex Whittaker were enough to secure the derby win for the Sharks.

Celtic got off to a great start and led after just a couple of minutes, as a great move led to a break down the left edge for the first try.

The Sharks grew into the game and Squires made a break down the left and managed to hold off a number of challenges on his way to the line, levelling the scores at 4-4.

Squires had a superb game, and a few minutes after his try he made another break before offloading to Nathan Wright, who made it over the try line but was held up.

The sides went into the break level but in the second half Celtic made another flying start, this time with a break down the middle for a converted try.

Sharks weren’t behind for as long as Paul March dummied to get past a defender and score, with the successful conversion levelling matters.

Shaw Cross took control in the final 15 minutes, with Squires getting his second before an unlikely try for Whittaker sealed victory in the closing stages.

Celtic begin their National Conference League campaign with a trip to Eastmoor Dragons in Division Three on Saturday, while the Sharks kick off with a trip to Ince Rose Bridge on Saturday March 10.

Sharks coach Zach Johnson was disappointed with his side’s performance, saying: “We need to re-evaluate mentally where we are. We’re not as tough or as skilful as we thought we were.

“There are too many people just cruising in third gear and we need to eradicate that because our execution wasn’t right, game management was poor, and we went away from our game plan too much.”

He added: “The positives are getting the win and if the team can win when we don’t play well I’ll take that every day of the week.

“They’re not big things that we need to change. I think it’s knowing our roles, everyone knowing what their job is and sticking to it.

“If we’re going to push for that league we need to have that added extra and not go back into our shell.”

Dewsbury Moor’s preparations for the new season were given a boost when their first and second teams both recorded victories away to Ince Rose Bridge.

Moor, promoted to Division Two last season, begin their league campaign at home to West Bowling on Saturday March 3.

Thornhill Trojans will face West Hull in the National Cup at Overthorpe Park this Saturday, after the East Yorkshire club beat Sharlston Rovers.

Thornhill’s planned warm-up game away at Barrow Island last week was cancelled, while the Trojans begin their National Conference campaign with away to Oulton Raiders on March 10.