Dalton 10 Sharlston 12

DALTON came close against a stronger and bigger Sharlston side at Kelland Park, almost snatching victory in the last piece of play.

With one last throw of the dice, Joe Watson raced down the touchline, but as the home crowd urged him on he was hauled into touch with a last-ditch tackle from scrum half Reiss Butterworth, and the points headed back over the Pennines.

The Yorkshire side were a big unit and they took this Pennine League Division One match to their hosts, applying early pressure as centre Ash Smith went close.

The home side couldn’t hold out much longer though as a neat stab from stand-off Adam Jones was neatly scooped up by prop Ronan Dixon who planted the ball down over the line. Tom Waldless added the goal.

Dalton came slowly into the game, with good play from Ryan Baines, Joe Cargan, Stu Tippett, Watson and Joe Braund-Smith sweeping play downfield before the attack fizzled out.

This lifed the home side as Reid sent Baines into space before he was tackled. From the play the ball Ryan Johnston sent out a long pass to Ash Allonby, only for the ball to go into touch near the flag.

Another raid saw Johnston, Baines and Tippett involved as Harri Brown pulled clear, coming inside the cover only to be held short of the line.

The pressure then turned to the other end as Sharlston’s big men were proving to be a handful and when Butterworth switched play close to the line his intended pass to full-back Waldless went to ground. This allowed Baines to swoop and take play away from the danger zone as half-time approached.

Dalton were soon to put points on the board early in the second period when great attacking from one side of the field to the other saw several players handling as Reid fed Tippett and in at the corner was Alastair McEwan. Baines failed to convert. Sharlston began to give the ball plenty of air with stand-off Adam Jones at the heart of several raids which brought the best out of the Dalton defence.

The visitors’ loose forward Josh Field was lucky not to be sin-binned on two occasions – one for a shoulder charge and then for what appeared to be a spear tackle.

On 58 minutes, Sharlston increased their lead when slick play, left to right, saw Jones delay his pass nicely to prise open a gap for Waldless to touch down. He also tagged on the extra two points.

Dalton played the last eight minutes with 12 men as Tippett was sin-binned for an offence in the tackle on winger Carl Rasool who had raced downfield.

The home side worked hard to get points on the board but they were denied as Johnson had a try ruled out due to a knock-on being ruled in the build up to him crossing.

However, they did cross on 78 minutes with a good try from Braund-Smith who had to work hard to cross after good work from Johnson, McEwan and Flynn.

The conversion from Johnson went in off the post, but time ran out on the home side.

l Former Barrow players Dalton Grant and Joe Burke crossed for tries in Wales’s 14-6 win over France in the European Championship.