Sheffield Eagles 28 Dewsbury Rams 22: Eagles back to winning ways to keep top five hopes alive
Sheffield Eagles kept their Championship top five hopes alive with a nervy 28-22 victory over struggling Dewsbury Rams.
Anthony Thackeray threw a long pass for Ben Blackmore to open the scoring within the first four minutes in the right corner.
Joe Martin’s celebrations were premature at the other end shortly afterwards as his try was disallowed for crossing.
Instead, the Eagles extended their lead as, following successive penalities, Thackeray put Jacob Ogden across the whitewash.
Dewsbury began to grow into the game and, midway through the half, hit back with their first points of the evening as Dom Speakman went down the short side from the base of a ruck to dive over.
A strong drive saw Kyle Trout add a quick-fire second after a kick chase forced an Eagles defender into touch next to the line.
Rob Worrincy re-gathered a high kick and looked set to put the visitors in front a few minutes later but his offload, under pressure from ex-Ram Josh Guzdek, couldn’t find a supporting player.
Ryan Millar scooped up a loose Paul Sykes pass to give the Eagles a much-changed boost before Guzdek put Blackmore over for his second try just before the break.
The moment the home crowd had been waiting for came three minutes into the second half but the returning Menzie Yere was deemed to have been tackled into touch before grounding the ball from Joel Farrell’s offload.
Sheffield’s task became tougher five minutes later as Millar, who had been causing problems throughout the match, left the field after a head injury assessment.
Michael Knowles managed to place down despite the attention of a defender as the Rams levelled the match at 16-all with just under half an hour to play.
Dewsbury continued to dominate through the middle of the park but a penalty gave Sheffield an attacking set on the line and Farrell burst through a gap to put the Eagles back in front against his former employers.
Sonny Esslemont was put through the Dewsbury line before throwing a dummy to give the Eagles some breathing space in the form of a 12-point lead.
But Worrincy crossed at the other end two minutes later to keep the Rams in contention going into the final 10 minutes.
Daniel Waite-Pullan knocked-on over the line with two minutes remaining as the Eagles survived a late scare to remain in the chase for the play-offs.
Eagles: Guzdek; Millar, Yere, Ogden, Blackmore; Walker, Thackeray; Pick, Davey, Knowles; Davies, Farrell; Brown. Interchange: Makelim, Esslemont, Burns, Broadbent.
Scorers: Tries: Blackmore (4, 38), Ogden (12), Farrell (63), Esslemont (68). Goals: Walker 4/5
Dewsbury: Martin; Worrincy, O. Trout, Ryder, McGrath; Sykes, Finn; Sheriffe, Speakman, Igbinedion: Waite-Pullan, M. Knowles; K. Trout. Interchange: Day, Walshaw, Annakin, Garratt.n
Scorers: Tries: Speakman (25), K. Trout (29), Knowles (51), Worrincy (70). Goals: Sykes 3/4
Referee: Gareth Hewer