Ross Roebuck was the hero for Shaw Cross Sharks as he scored a try in the dying embers of the game to help the Sharks narrowly defeat Normanton Knights on Saturday afternoon.
On a day that controversy reigned it was the Sharks who battled their way to the two points in a true arm wrestle of a contest.
The victory was the Sharks’ fifth away win from six this season and leaves them two points away from the play-off places.
The visitors got off to a perfect start as Brandan French opened the scoring inside the first three minutes.
Returning captain Danny Flowers provided a short ball for French who gathered and fended the tackler away to get over the line.
Moments later Matthew Tebb doubled the lead for Shaw Cross in only his second game since returning to the club.
Tebb broke the line 40 metres out and twice sold a dummy to the tacklers and found the space needed to rush over in the corner.
Normanton responded to going behind with two scores of their own, however two missed conversions kept Shaw Cross ahead.
Ryan Kelsey scored Normanton’s first try of the afternoon as the ball was thrown wide and the centre had the space needed to score in the corner.
A kick across the field towards winger Aaron Butterfield was superbly gathered as Butterfield leaped to catch and ground the ball.
Shark’s full-back Sam Ottewell then scored with a wonderful solo effort to give his side some breathing space.
Ottewell jinked his way through the Normanton line before stepping past the Knights full-back to race away and score beside the posts.
The Sharks ten point lead was soon cut to six as Lee Hammond scored in the corner for Normanton.
Shaw Cross re-extended their lead minutes into the second half thanks to a second score from Ottewell.
Flowers fed the ball to French who produced a sharp pass to Roebuck, the Sharks’ winger burst down the line before passing back inside to Ottewell who slid over the line.
The Knight’s second-rower Matthew Handforth was then sent off for head-butting and throwing a punch.
Normanton then took the lead in controversial circumstances and looked like they had snatched all two points from Shaw Cross.
Connor Wilson got over for the hosts after the Sharks stopped in their tracks waiting for a knock on to be given, play resumed and Wilson capitalised to score.
French was then left incensed as he claimed he was bit by a Normanton player in the tackle, nothing was given by the officials.
The hosts then took the lead as the ball was thrown wide to Butterfield who went round the back to touch down close to the posts.
Almost all of the Shaw Cross players stood still waiting for a forward pass to be given, the try was awarded leaving the Sharks with ten minutes to find a winner.
The moment came for Shaw Cross as the ball was moved swiftly along the right to Roebuck who finished brilliantly in the corner to win the game.
“It feels fantastic to win the way we did today,” said head coach Brett Turner.
“We overcame a bit of adversity, it looked like we might lose the game at one point but we showed a lot of character.
“It is great to be able to win one of the close games the lads did brilliantly to dig in and get the win.
“Calls go with you and calls go against you every week, they threw what looked like a big forward pass for one of their tries but we stopped dead and you can’t do that.”
Shaw Cross are back in action next Saturday as they travel to Castleford Lock Lane.
Updated 20:19 - 24 Jun 2017 by Ben McKenna