Sharks edge out Celtic in Restall’s memorial match

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Dewsbury Celtic and Shaw Cross Sharks produced an entertaining game in memory of former Celtic player Ben Restall, who sadly lost a brave battle with cancer in December.

Both sides gave opportunities to some of their younger players with Ben’s team-mates Dom Senior, Ethan Ferry and Reece Borbely appearing for Celtic.

The game was played on a very wet and muddy Crow Nest Park pitch but both sides put in huge efforts and as expected the game was played in a very competitive but sporting manner.

The Sharks had the best of the early exchanges with some sustained pressure and looked the sharper following the previous week’s Challenge Cup win over London Chargers.

This was Celtic’s first run out and they took time to get some rhythm.

The Sharks went close when John Rourke broke through but couldn’t find Declan Ellis with a clean pass when free.

Celtic began to settle and great defence saw them force errors and apply pressure with Senior prompting and strong running coming from Callum Wilkins, Danny Crabtree and James Archibald but unusually it was scoreless at the break.

The visitors started the second half strongly with Poching probing and strong forward play from Buggle, Tom Shaw and Jordan Clayton giving Shaw Cross good field position, which eventually saw Andrew Fawkes crash over the line for the first score, which Flowers converted.

Celtic introduced Danny Lee, who made inroads and put his side on the front foot, allowing Richardson and Josh Knowles space to apply pressure close to the line.

The Sharks defence remained solid, with full-back Sam Ottewell clearing several dangerous kicks.

James Halmshaw, Tom Norris and Tom Bottomley all went close for Celtic but the Sharks survived and went on to seal victory.

Ottewell wrong footed the home defence and he crashed over for a try, which Flowers was unable to convert.

Both sides could take positives from the game, blooding some young players and having a tough pre-season game in heavy conditions but the real winner was Rugby League and the Friends in Deed Charity, who did so much to support young Ben Restall and his family.

Celtic and the Sharks have pledged to make this game an annual event going forward.