Cup glory for Ovenden

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Ovenden added the Pennine Presidents Cup to their Pennine League Championship title success when they beat Sharlston Rovers 26-6 at Featherstone Rovers RLFC yesterday.

A dominant performance from the Ovenden pack, well led by props Macauley Higgins and Joss Bentley and backed by hard working back rowers Nick Cassell and Dean Robertshaw, never let Sharlston get into their stride.

Ovenden’s first try came from a drive deep into Sharlston territory from Bentley, hooker and skipper Shaun Smith spotting a gap to cross the line wide out. Scrum half Sean Dyson converted.

Sharlston were doing all they could to rattle the Ovenden players, who kept their discipline, and it was from one of these indiscretions that Dyson extended the lead with a penalty.

Wingers Nathan Brown and Jake Kennedy were causing issues when they returned the ball from Sharlston kicks and Chris Holroyd was orchestrating most of the Ovenden attacks.

It was no surprise when the Halifax side’s lead was extended, substitute Liam Walsh spotting a gap after Nathan Smith had driven hard into the Sharlston ‘20’.

Dyson could not add the extras but Ovenden had established a well-earned 10-0 lead up the hill at Post Office Road.

The half time message from coach Jake Connor was to defend as well as they had in the first half and spread the ball as much as possible to keep Sharlston on the back foot.

The half was only five minutes old when, despite the attentions of three tacklers, Higgins made an off-load for Graham Charlesworth, who broke away from the half way line and turned the Sharlston full back inside out to extend the lead. Dyson added the extras.

After a team warning, Dodd was sent to the sin bin, quickly followed by Cassell for a shoulder charge to leave Ovenden with 11 men.

Despite some great defence by Luke O’Mara, Sam Morrow and Mark Sutcliffe the Sharlston loose forward scored a deserved try to lift his side’s spirits.

The comeback was short lived, Holroyd releasing the returning Dodd on the left for the centre to power over.

Man of the match Charlesworth had the final say, scoring to the right of the posts after a good handling move. Dyson converted.

Yesterday’s other two finals at Fetaherstone were closer. Queensbury beat Kinsley Raiders 18-14 in the Supplementary Cup and Hanging Heaton beat Wyke 27-24 in the Andrew Bennett Memorial Trophy.