Wheelchair Winners Are Grinners
Sheffield Eagles Wheelchair team picked up that long-awaited win on Saturday 25th February as they travelled away to Wakefield Trinity for a friendly match, racking up an 8-82 victory.
With Wakefield playing their first game, the Eagles ensured that they gave plenty of game time to newer players and showed plenty of respect to their opposition throughout the 80 minutes, which were played in excellent spirit!
Sheffield racked up a 4-26 half-time lead, with Stephen Reilly opening his account in the first minute by picking up a fumbled ball. He also converted the try before scoring a carbon copy shortly afterwards.
Chris Haynes was next over the whitewash as he found space to score in front of the sticks, with David Butler sending the kick under the crossbar.
Will Brooks collected Reilly’s inside pass to add his name to the scoresheet, but was unable to convert.
Wakefield rallied and as they settled into the pace of the game, Katie Haigh barging her way through to get them off the mark and become the club’s first try scorer.
With Butler having had two tries ruled out, one deemed as tackled before grounding, the other fumbled as he collected his own kick – Lottie Davis-Browne found her way into the left corner to keep the scoreboard moving upwards, but Reilly was unable to convert.
The final word of the half went to Ben Simpson who collected Joe Wink-Simmonds’ cross field kick to ground the ball in the corner. Wink-Simmonds was off target with the following conversion to complete the half.
The Eagles kicked up a gear after half-time when Haynes found space in the centre of the field to score the first try of the second period, converted by Butler.
Reilly added two further tries, showing his pace to power down the pitch. Butler converted the first before adding a try of his own after a show and go dummy in the middle of the field which he converted.
Emma Pearson was rewarded for a solid offensive game, scoring a try on the left edge before April Brooks pulled off a similar move on the right side. Butler converted one from two.
Wink-Simmonds added his name to the try scorers but Jack Johnson couldn’t convert.
April Brooks was in again just after the hour mark before Simpson added his second shortly after.
Youngster Jenson Godfrey managed to find space to give Wakefield a well-deserved second try prior to Eagles debutant Ian Pride getting himself on the scoresheet, much to the delight of everyone in the Red and Gold!
Reilly added a 5th try to his tally before Will Brooks notched the final points of the afternoon to complete his brace.
Sheffield Eagles Team: Chris Haynes David Butler, Emma Pearson, Stephen Reilly, Will Brooks. Interchanges: Shaun Orton, Jack Johnson, Lottie Davis-Browne, April Brooks, Joe Wink-Simmonds, Julie Finusamni, Ben Simpson, Ian Pride, Lisa Pride-Kelly.
Sheffield Eagles Scorers: Tries: Stephen Reilly (1, 3, 46, 50, 78), Chris Haynes (7, 42), Will Brooks (10, 80), Lottie Davis-Browne (19), Ben Simpson (37, 65), David Butler (52), Emma Pearson (57), April Brooks (59, 62), Joe Wink-Simmonds (61), Ian Pride (73).
Goals: Stephen Reilly 1/6, David Butler 4/6, Will Brooks 0/1, Joe Wink-Simmonds 0/3, Jack Johnson 0/1, Ben Simpson 0/1
Club Of The Year
Later that evening, several members of the club’s Wheelchair team were present at the RFL’s Wheelchair Rugby League Awards Dinner at Headingley.
The Eagles were nominated alongside Halifax Panthers and Leeds Rhinos for the prestigious Club Of The Year Award – which we won!!
Martin Coyd OBE, Chairperson of the Wheelchair Rugby League, noted the club’s contribution to participation, profile and were given as a blueprint for new clubs to establish themselves.
Everyone in the wider Sheffield Eagles club is very proud of the Wheelchair team’s progress and congratulates them on picking up the award!
Training continues on Monday nights, 6.30pm at the Pearson Building at Sheffield Hallam University!