Sheffield Eagles 28 Dewsbury 35: In-form Rams inflict Eagles' first Shield defeat
Sheffield Eagles' Championship Shield campaign suffered its first setback after a 28-35 defeat to Dewsbury Rams.
Eagles lost for the first time in the Shield, as Rams held Mark Aston’s side at arms length in a tight contest at Belle Vue.
Playing catch-up throughout, Aston’s side twice closed within a converted try in the second-half, but the Rams saw the game out to make it eight wins from their nine.
Dewsbury’s opening try followed A strong run from centre Macualey Hallett saw off two challenges to score, with Paul Sykes slotting the extras.
Eagles responded when what looked to be a straightforward break from Matty Fozard bamboozled the Rams defence, allowing the hooker to cross from dummy half, but Brown missed the conversion.
The visitors took control of the half with a brace of quick-fire converted tries. Firstly James Glover showed his pace with a driving 40 metre run which couldn’t be halted, and four minutes later Dom Speakman touched down after picking up a loose ball to open up a 14 point lead.
Right on the half-time hooter Elliot Minchella continued his impressive try scoring streak when a terrific offload from Mark Mexico sent the ex-Leeds man over the try line, and Brown added the extras.
Dewsbury were again quickest out of the blocks after the break with Gareth Potts finishing a move from right to left, but Sykes sailed the conversion wide.
Eagles were back within touching distance as Garry Lo showed all his strength to power through a tackle, before sprinting to the line, the try onverted by Brown.
The gap should have been narrowed further when Lo looked certain to score again, but the winger knocked on when attempting to ground the ball. This was swiftly punished by Aaron Brown’s converted try.
Tries continued to be traded as skipper Matty James showed great strength to cross the whitewash for the Eagles, with Brown again obliging with the extras.
After a Sykes drop goal extended the lead to seven points, Sam Day’s converted try made the game safe, despite a late George Milton score for the Eagles.
* Eagles: Millar; Lo, Yere, Flynn, Blackmore; Owens, Brown; Wheeldon, Fozard, James; Scott, Hope; Minchella. Interchange: Johnson, Mexico, Straugheir, Milton.
Tries: Fozard (17), Minchella (40), Lo (55), James (65), Milton (78). Goals: Brown 4/5.
* Dewsbury: Guzdek; Morton, Glover, Hallett, Potts; Sykes, Speakman; Sheriffe, Ward, Teanby; Walshaw, Goudemand; Brown. Interchange: Day, Ollett, Adamson, Everett.
Tries: Hallett (4), Glover (26), Speakman (30), Potts (45), Brown (60) Day (73). Goals: Sykes 5/6 Drop Goal 1/1