SHEFFIELD Eagles ran in three late tries to beat derby rivals Doncaster 40-22 in their pre-season friendly at the Keepmoat Stadium to lift the Autism Plus South Yorkshire Cup.
Before Eagles’ late blitz the scores were locked at 22-22 and it looked to be anyone’s game with the Dons having given an excellent performance in an entertaining encounter.
Eagles took the lead on five minutes when Simon Brown and Menzie Yere combined to get winger Scott Turner over for an unconverted try.
Former Dons centre Nev Morrison, who caught the eye for Eagles, dropped the ball on the line after 11 minutes.
The Dons took a 6-4 lead against the run of play when Carl Hughes bounced out of a tackle in the Eagles’ 20 and found Mike Emmett on his inside and he crossed from close range near enough for Lee Waterman to convert.
The Championship One side enjoyed a spell of sustained pressure but were unable to add to their account.
Eagles regained the lead on 21 minutes, Yere reaching out of the tackle after being fed by Brown, who added the conversion to make it 10-6.
Tony Miller’s men drew level on the half-hour.
Winger Stewart Sanderson picked up a loose ball just inside his own 20 and showed good pace and determination to hold off the cover on a thrilling race to the line.
Waterman added the touchline conversion to nose his side into a 12-10 lead.
Yere had a 39th minute try disallowed for a forward pass.
The Dons rode their luck and extended their lead to 16-10 on the stroke of half-time with a try by Waterman following good work by Dean Colton.
Eagles drew level on 45 minutes, Nathan Walmsley sending the outstanding Dominic Brambani through a big gap 10 metres out for a try goaled by Brown.
The home side edged into a 22-16 lead on 56 minutes - Nathan Powley forcing his way over from acting half-back and Waterman adding the easy conversion.
Eagles levelled the scores on 64 minutes, Sam Williamson breaking full-back Mick Butterfield’s tackle to present Brambani with a simple conversion.
They took the lead five minutes later, Michael Knowles forced his way over from close range for his first try for the club. Brambani added the extras.
Brambani effectively killed the game off on 74 minutes, scoring a converted 50 metre interception try to make it 34-22.
A fumble by Butterfield gifted Leigh Sanders a 77th minute try, goaled by Knowles.
Dons squad: Butterfield, Crowther, Waterman, Colton, Fawcett, Kelly, Emmett, Welsh, Powley, Sampson, Hughes, Townend, Sanderson, Kesik, Lawton, Castle.
Eagles squad: Togagae, Strauthn, Yere, Morrison, Laula-Taulapapa, Brown, Brambani, Higgins, Smith, Battye, Scott, Hirst, Knowles, Sampson,Turner, Walmsley, Hawksworth, Smith, Stringer, Sanders, Straughier, Williamson.
Referee: M Kidd.