Sherburn Bears ARLFC in victory over title rivals Kinsley Raiders
Sherburn Bears ARLFC completed a thrilling golden-point knockout victory over title rivals Kinsley Raiders with a last-gasp touchline goal in the 119th minute, despite playing with 11 players.
The ice-cool Martin Leahy converted from a difficult angle to give the Bears a 22-20 win after extra time, and move them into round three of the Pennine Supplementary Cup.
What made the victory all the more remarkable was that they had had two men sent off, and were forced to play the majority of the game with just 11 men.
Stand-off Sam Booth was sent to the sin-bin shortly before half-time, only to see a red card after 45 minutes after disputing a holding down decision.
Shaun Crossland followed Booth just four minutes later as he caught a Kinsley back high up with a lazy arm, to leave the away side to play what was to be a further 71 minutes with just 11 men.
However, the Bears continued their fine recent form as they dominated the opening stages of the cup-tie.
Ben Pugh scored two excellent tries, and Crossland barged his way over from close-range to give Sherburn a 14-0 lead with a Leahy conversion.
The first contentious decision of the game came when winger Rob Hollins appeared to have taken a crossfield kick cleanly before touching down, only for the referee to judge he had been in an offside position.
The Bears’ discipline started to unravel, as Booth’s sin-binning helped Kinsley back into the game with the home side scoring two unanswered tries. The pressure was increased after the sendings-off, and despite some heroic last-ditch defending from skipper Ray Boyes and his men, Kinsley eventually drew level with minutes remaining.
In the final minute, Leahy thought he had won his side the game but the referee had his back to the posts as his drop goal sailed between the posts, and disallowed it.
Kinsley made it 18-14 early in extra time, but Sherburn burst into life and a converted Ryan Smith try put them in the lead before Kinsley kicked a goal to take it to a golden point.
Despite another disallowed try, Leahy won the game in the closing moments with a nerveless kick to put his side into the quarter-finals.
The two teams will now battle it out for the division five title. It is Sherburn who hold the advantage, as they sit top of the table on points difference although Kinsley have a game in hand and will move two points clear with a win.
Selby Warriors ‘A’, meanwhile, were also in action. They beat struggling Queensbury ‘B’ 64-10 in the Pennine League division seven.
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