Tigers top Sharks as Hindpool reach cup semis
HINDPOOL Tigers booked their place in the North West Men's League Cup semi-finals after a close-fought 26-24 victory at home to Premier Division outfit Shevington Sharks.
The clash at Brisbane Park marked the first time the sides had met, and there was little to choose between them, with the Division One side eventually prevailing.
The Tigers were dealt an early blow when Tony Rickleton was taken to hospital with a shoulder injury after just four minutes, but this did not deter them.
Connor McDermott's kick returns were proving vital in gaining metres for the hosts and one of those led to the opening score when Paul Rickleton dummied to dive over in the corner, with McDermott adding the extras.
A quick play-the-ball then resulted in Dale Sneesby grabbing a try which was again converted by McDermott, although Shevington's Deane Meadows eventually breached Hindpool's stubborn defence and converted his own score to make it 12-6 to the home side at half-time.
The heat began to take effect in the second half and Hindpool edged further ahead thanks to a penalty from Grant Burns.
However, the Sharks closed the gap to just two points when Chris Dunn found a way through for a try and Meadows converted.
The see-saw nature of the tie continued when McDermott scored a stunning length-of-the field try, converted by Burns, only for Shevington to hit back when Adam Robinson barged through for their third converted try.
Burns' chip-kick was then chased down by Stuart Travers for him to collecting a bobbling ball and score under the posts to put Hindpool back on the front foot, with Burns duly adding the extras.
There was still time for the away side to score another converted try from Danny Owens to narrow the deficit back to two points, but they were unable to force extra-time when Meadows' late penalty kick went wide of the mark and the Tigers held out for the win.