Rugby League


2 Oct 2023

Woolston win thrilling Division Two promotion final at Shaw Cross

Woolston win thrilling Division Two promotion final at Shaw Cross

Early on both sides battled for supremacy and Shaw Cross were winning territorial advantage.

Jack Toulson was hauled down close to the line for the hosts after nine minutes.

Alex Pendlebury then lost the ball at the other end after solid runs from Scott Whiteley and James Tarpey. Shaw Cross again advanced with some fantastic metres from Tenneson Neagle and the hosts eventually took the lead after 27 minutes when Toulson held off several defenders to reach out and score. Dec Tomlinson, a positive influence throughout for Shaw Cross couldn't goal and it was 4-0.

Woolston flickered into life after 33 minutes and looked likely to score before Dan Fearnley lost the ball and Callum Barker swept up for the hosts to run forty metres before linking with Tom Ripley who was hauled down by the chasers. 

As the half came to a close Woolston threatened once more with Ryan Brown impressing and they had a penalty after scrum-half Dec Leonard was obstructed chasing his own kick. A couple of big charges had Shaw Cross backpedaling and Adam Files spotted his chance to plunder a try from dummy half allowing Craig Lawton to convert and give the visitors a 4-6 advantage at half-time.

Shaw Cross made a brilliant start to the second half when Tom Ashen cut through and Nathan Wright supported for a Tomlinson-improved score after 43 minutes.

Now trailing by four points, Woolston amassed pressure with Alex Pendlebury trapping Barker behind his own line before the ball sailed out on the full from the resulting dropout.

Dan Fearnley was superb in the second half for Woolston and he was held up over the line before Harry Files was forced to turn over possession on the last tackle.

Files was then sin-binned in the 55th minute after his challenge on Wright was deemed reckless by referee Sam Jenkinson. 

Three minutes later, the hosts were awarded a double penalty and Tomlinson goaled to increase the Sharks lead to 12-6.

A high tackle on James Tarpey created some position for Woolston and they almost broke the deadlock with Cam Davies spilling over the goal-line.

Ashen and Ben Ripley threatened just after the hour for the hosts but Woolston battled with their pack outstanding.

It was close as the rain fell heavily. Woolston then gained some traction and the visitors scored when Fearnley wouldn't be stopped close to the line. Lawton levelled with the conversion and it was 12-12 with nine minutes to play.

Leonard saw a drop goal attempt blocked and as Woolston attacked, Kian Lister was penalised for the hosts and Lawton nudged the resulting kick over from thirty metres to hand a two-point lead to Woolston, 12-14.

With seconds remaining Shaw Cross regained possession following a short kick from the restart and then won a penalty on the left. Tomlinson pointed to the posts from forty metres out, knowing success would bring extra time, however despite having the distance, the kick flashed wide and Woolston celebrated promotion.

West Hull will take on Hunslet ARLFC in the Premier Division Grand Final after a commanding 26-8 win over Rochdale Mayfield , who have made significant progress this season. The hosts scored four tries from Jack Watts, Ryan Wilson Benn Arbon and Kieran Masike with Wilson also adding five goals. 

Watts scored first for West Hull in the tenth minute with Mayfield replying eight minutes later through Kristian McVeigh but by the time Wilson added a second penalty a minute before half-time in addition to his 25th-minute converted try, the hosts had built a 16-4 advantage. Arbon's score hoisted Wests to 22-4 and although Mayfield pulled four points back through Harry Sheridan, West Hull closed out with Masike's touchdown and success.

Saturday 1st October

Premier Division

Elimination Semi Final
  • West Hull 26 Rochdale Mayfield 8
Division Two
Promotion Play-off Final

  • Shaw Cross Sharks 12 Woolston Rovers 14
Saturday 7th October
Premier Division Grand Final

  • Hunslet ARLFC v West Hull @ Featherstone Rovers

Words: Dave Parkinson
Picture: Dave Parkinson