Upton produced a tremendous team display in a 34-12 victory at Sharlston Rovers in the Pennine League’s Premier Division on Saturday.
The Waggon Lane outfit defied dreadful conditions in a another confidence boosting win ahead of Saturday’s home BARLA National Cup second-round tie against Stanningley.
In the snow and sleet, Upton played up the slope in the first half as Sharlston looked to make the most of the harsh conditions but the visitors applied the early pressure, pinning their opponents back in their own half.
However, Sharlston scored first off what looked a suspicious forward pass and added the conversion to lead 6-0.
Upton replied almost immediately as Sharlston knocked on from the kick off .
Upton made two drives towards the posts before hooker John McDerrmott found player coach Mark Tepper who showed his team what was required to win as he powered over from 10 yards out and Steve Beal converted.
Upton’s forwards Matt Steadman, Alan Thomson, Stu James, Jake Turner and Alex Copcutt were all to the fore, working overtime and wingers Andy Iveson and Rob Taylor shared the work.
Upton were pressing but the Sharlston’s defence stood firm and the home side went in at half time leading 12-6 after the visitors had knocked on and Rovers kicked from the back of the resulting scrum. Upton’s Craig Shipley beat Sharlston to the ball but it bounced off his knee and they hacked it forward to score.
Upton came out in the second half confident they could make the slope count and they soon levelled the score as Nick Welsh, who had moved to hooker for the injured McDermott, went over from close range. Welsh showed his strength, with Sharlston defenders unable to hold him. Beal tagged on the conversion to make it 12-12.
Upton’s forwards and centres were now in the ascendants and when Welsh dropped the rampaging Turner back inside on the 20 he brushed off would be tacklers to score beneath the posts and Beal added the extras.
Rob Taylor then made a break from his own half before being tackled 18 yards from Sharlston’s line. A quick play of the ball led to an exchange of passes between Beal, Todd Williamson and Turner before Beal got the ball back and dummied the defence to go over for a try he also goaled.
Upton just ploughed on down the middle, sucking in the defence. When Welsh got the ball to Beal, he dropped Turner back on the inside and he crashed over for a touchdown that Beal again improved.
The visitors were now firmly in control and when they drove down the slope again Sharlston held them out until the last tackle when Beal hoisted a high kick.
The ball bounced back off the crossbar into the arms of Harry Stevens who crossed smartly to round off the scoring. In a magnificent all-round team display, Turner was Upton’s man of the match, followed by Steadman and Iverson.
l In Division Three of the Pennine League, Kinsley Raiders slipped to an 8-4 home defeat against Crigglestone All Blacks.