Match report by Andy & Devon Johnson
Bramley Buffaloes took the field with a side containing a blend of first and ‘A’ team players up against a Sharlston side with a strong forward pack.
However, as early as the third minute, Buffaloes conceded possession in a ‘one on one’ tackle, giving Rovers the ball. Bramley scrambled to cover a move across to their left-hand side, but a long pass found the Sharlston winger with just enough space to squeeze in by the corner flag for an unconverted try. Score Buffaloes 0–4.
From the resulting kick-off, the Sharlston loose forward made good progress as he bounced out of the Buffaloes tackles until he was met by a very robust tackle by Kieran Hudson, who wasn’t going to be intimidated. But, unfortunately, the referee was quick to reach for his yellow card, and Kieran was sent for his first ten minutes of the evening in the sin bin.
Despite being a man down, the next 25 minutes were very even, with both sides having probing runs, which were met with equally good defence.
As the half went into the last five minutes, the Buffaloes were on the attack pressing Sharlston’s right-hand side. Just as it looked like there was an overlap. The final pass found the Rovers wingman who had stepped inside to intercept on his 30-metre line.
Tom Langton hared off in pursuit and made a gallant effort to run the winger down, but the Rovers wingman had just enough speed to evade a tackle and score five metres in from the corner flag.
The kick went high and, to the massed Bramley supporters directly behind the kicker, looked to have gone a metre to the right of the post. However, the referee saw it differently, and the Buffaloes went in at half-time somewhat undeservedly 10 nil down.
As is often the case at half time, the next score would set the theme for the second half and from a long Sharlston kick-off, the ball was knocked on behind the Buffaloes line. However, Rovers kept the ball with their forwards from the resulting drop-out, and despite three despairing Buffaloes tacklers, the ball was just grounded at the side of the posts for a converted try Buffaloes 0-16.
This left the Buffaloes with major problems as several players were carrying injuries, and others faced their second game in 48 hours. That said, the next ten minutes featured some excellent drives by the Buffaloes forwards, with Curtis, Charlie, Louie and Tom Welford taking the ball in hand.
This softened up the Sharlston forwards, and on the 55th minute, Cody Downey went in to score an unconverted try. Buffaloes 4 -16.
The Buffaloes faithful were hoping for a comeback, but despite some excellent tackling and one particular big hit by Craig Boot, unfortunately, no further Bramley tries. Several of the Buffaloes ran their blood to water, with Kieran Hudson a constant thorn in Sharlston’s side.
The match lost much of its early focus as both sides were guilty of raised elbows in tackles that the referee failed to punish to the satisfaction of either side. This resulted in the players from both sides coming together. Kieran Hudson was shown his second yellow card of the evening despite doing nothing more than walking towards his opponent.
In the 80th minute, Sharlston finished off the scoring with a converted try giving them a flattering full-time score of Buffaloes 4 – Sharlston 22
Buffaloes; 1) Codey Downey, 15) Kacper Mroz, 3) Rob Gaunt, 4) Kes Hudson, 5) Ryan Jones, 6) Callum Smithson 7) Brad Wilson, 8) Andy Boot 9) Lochlan Mc, 10) Louie, 11) Tom Langton, 12) Tom Welford, 13) Curtis Sidebottom, Subs (all used) 14) Craig Boot 16) Charlie McMurray 17) M Loveridge 18) Liam Lether 19)
Tries; Cody Downey 55 Mins
Rovers; 1) Ryn Butterworth, 2) Joshua Beecher, 17) Paul Greaves, 3) Lee Dutson, 5) Clayton Hopkinson, 6) Jorge Richardson, 7) Patrick Harrison, 8) Ben Lyons, 22) Lee Bettinson, 11) Sean Markey, 12) George Yemi, 13) Adam Jones, 18) Joey Nowicki, 19 Joshua Sneesby, 20) Martyn Nicoll, 21) Brendon Gibbins, 23 Kyle Littlewood, 16) Nick Taylor.