Sheffield in semi-finals as Knowles stuns Rams in fightback

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Sheffield Eagles made it a hat-trick of wins over Dewsbury Rams this season as they booked their place in the Northern Rail Cup semi-finals.

Eagles battled back from early shock tries as they extended their winning run to 12 games with Michael Knowles’s try edging them ahead with nine minutes to go.

On the back of a a high kick Dewsbury opened the scoring with Jon Molly taking an offload in front of the posts from Bobbie Goulding, who then added the goal.

Another high kick was palmed back by Dale Morton for centre Scott Hale to increase the lead.

Sheffield’s problems increased when hooker Adam O’Brien took the ball on the burst to crash over with Goulding adding the Rams’ goal.

Relief for the Eagles came seven minutes from half-time with Michael Knowles taking Dominic Brambani’s kick one-handed to score. Brambani added the goal and also a penalty in the final minute to cut the Rams’ lead to 16-6.

Eagles mounted an assault on the Dewsbury line from the restart but struggled to produce a final killing pass before, on 52 minutes, Peter Green forced his way through between the posts. Brambani added the goal to cut the margin to two points.

O’Brien was held up over the line and Goulding almost found a way through as Eagles were pinned back.

Knowles was outstanding for the Eagles with crucial tackles and taking the ball out of defence and got the decisive try on 71 minutes taking Brambani’s cross-field high kick. Brambani added the goal.

Winger Scot Turner took a bouncing ball to seal the win two minutes from time with Brambani kicking his fifth goal of the night.

Sheffield become the second South Yorkshire team into the last four.

On Thursday night, Doncaster reached the semi-finals thanks to a 36-14 away win over Swinton Lions.

The semi-final draw takes place tomorrow, as Batley Bulldogs host Workington, while Leigh welcome Whitehaven.

Sheffield Eagles: Laulu-Togagae; Turner, Yere, Armstrong, Taulapapa; Walker, Brambani; Higgins, Henderson, Stringer, Knowles, Straugheir, Hirst. Substitutes: Davey, Green, Garside, Gledhill.

Dewsbury Rams: Pryce; Morton, Hale, Watkinson, Scott; Hyde, Goulding; Nash, O’Brien, Jones, Molloy, Hepworth, Tonks. Substitutes: Bentley, Schofield, Aizue, Lillycrop.

Referee: M Thomason (RFL).