Slaithwaite push so hard
HOLDERS St Joseph's are through to the semi-finals of the Holliday Cup.
But the Pennine League Division I side were made to battle all the way to overcome Fourth Division Slaithwaite Saracens and secure a hard-fought 10-2 triumph.
The match was played on a very heavy Slaithwaite pitch that restricted St Joseph's fast men and meant it became a real midfield battle.
Defences dominated early on, with the impressive Paul Horsfall and Richard Woods leading the way for the Saints pack.
But it was Slaithwaite who struck first as Richard Flooks, right, landed a penalty to give his side a 2-0 lead.
Five minutes later the scores were level as Neil Barrett kicked a penalty to make it 2-2 at the break.
It remained just as tight in the second half, with neither side giving an inch.
Winger Leon Alexis continued to make probing runs into the Slaithwaite half and the crucial score came on the hour mark.
Barrett darted through the Saracens' defence, drew the full-back and then fed man-of-the-match Kevin Bower, who was superb throughout, to score under the posts.
Barrett converted and then added a penalty five minutes later to complete the scoring.
It was a result which left St Joseph's head coach Jody Shaw feeling delighted.
"We always knew the conditions would play a part," he said.
"The pitch was very heavy which restricted us somewhat, but take nothing away from Slaithwaite they made it tough for us.
"I thought my lads were terrific today and I was particularly pleased with our defence.
"I am really pleased we are in the semi-finals and we can now build to that match with Newsome Panthers."