Eagles claim South Yorkshire Cup against Doncaster
Sheffield Eagles claimed the South Yorkshire Cup with a 38-16 triumph over Doncaster at the Keepmoat Stadium.
Zack McComb starred for the Eagles with two scores and an assist in his first game since signing from Oldham.
Four Eagles tries in the final ten minutes blew the score out to be more comfortable than what it really was for the Championship club, against a Doncaster side who showed signs of quality throughout.
Ryan Millar had the first big opportunity of the match as a bit of good fortune, after letting the ball bounce, saw him break downfield. Oliver Davies was in support but knocked on under pressure from a couple of Dons defenders.
The first score of the game arrived on 13 minutes as Greg Burns burrowed over from dummy-half with numerous Dons defenders in the vicinity.
Josh Guzdek had the kicking duties, as Sheffield search for the best replacement for the role following the retirement of Patch Walker. It was a good start for Guzdek as he converted his first attempt, which was replicated soon after.
The next set after scoring saw the Eagles put together a great team move to double their lead.
Anthony Thackeray was at his dangerous best with a run to the defensive line, he passed to Oliver Davies who had Guzdek in support and the former Dewsbury full-back played Aaron Brown over.
Doncaster needed a response and they got one after 21 minutes. A similar move to Burns’ try as Dons hooker Harry Carter sniped over after faking a pass to the left flank. Jack Logan added the extras.
The League 1 side were starting to get on a roll with strong carries coming from the likes of Ross Peltier as well as silky footwork from former Man of Steel winner Rangi Chase.
It was Chase who set up Doncaster’s second try as he lost the ball backwards in the tackle, which was swept up by Brad England to touch down. Logan levelled matters at 12-apiece - the half-time score.
After the restart, former Don Frankie Mariano scored for his new club as the visitors regained the lead by four points but it was to be Richard Horne’s side who took control ahead of the final quarter.
More magic from Chase helped him break down the wing before flinging an offload to the onrushing Boas who had a free run to the line. Kieran Lawton added the goal.
The Eagles had an injury scare as Oliver Davies went down, although early reports point towards a sprained ankle.
The injury could have put the Eagles off their game, especially in a pre-season fixture, but that wasn’t the case as the Championship club strung four tries together in the last ten minutes.
Zack McComb showed great acceleration to score twice and set one up for Rob Worrincy with seconds remaining.
In-between those scores was a Guzdek effort, coming from a half-break and offload by young half-back Izaac Farrell.
A good hit-out for both teams, who will hope to be competing in the upper echelons of their respective divisions.
By Dan Fowler for League Weekly, photo by Alex Coleman