ST JOSEPH’S ensured their Pennine League Premier Division status for next season with a superb 26-26 draw with unbeaten leaders Sharlston.
Joe’s, who will now face derby clashes next season with Slaithwaite Saracens who have been promoted from Division I, in fact could count themselves unlucky not to have gained both points as Sharlston drew level with a penalty kick from the last play of the game.
The early signs looked ominous for Joe’s as Sharlston raced into a 10 point lead within the first quarter.
Joe’s then stormed back and with forwards James Street and Graham Hyland to the fore started to gain the upper hand.
It was no surprise then when Hyland touched down following good work from Neil Barrett who added the conversion.
Two further tries were added by Barrett and Aka following good build up play, before centre Craig Lee scored the try of the game when he intercepted on his own line and raced the length of the field to score.
With Barrett adding all the goals Joe’s went in with a 24-10 lead at half time
Sharlston started the second half in determined mood and scored two tries in quick succession to bring the score to 24 – 22 to the home side.
With 10 minutes remaining Sharlston kicked a penalty to draw level.
Joe’s then believed they had won the game with a Barrett penalty with two minutes remaining before Sharlston were awarded another penalty with 20 seconds remaining on the clock to draw level.
Man-of-the-match for Joe’s was loose forward Joe Flaherty, who was pushed closely by Barrett, Lee and Lee St Hilaire.