SHELLHARBOUR kept their slim minor premiership hopes alive with a resounding 64-nil victory over the hapless Milton-Ulladulla Bulldogs in atrocious conditions at Ron Costello Oval on Sunday.
The non-stop rain was at its heaviest in the first half and water almost completely covered the playing arena and only for the floodlights the game would not have been able to proceed so dark were the conditions and early in the second half there appeared to be more seagulls then spectators.
The Bulldogs struggled for players and only that three under 18 and two reserve grade players backed up to make up a bare thirteen players prevented a forfeit and they had no replacements.
Probably the bad conditions prevented the Sharks from running up a bigger score but players like Bronx Goodwin, Harold Snell, Hans Schuster and Craig Stapleton had big games and Stapleton said conditions reminded him of playing in England.
The game was only a few minutes old when five-eighth Jai Dormer scored the first of his teams thirteen tries but the Bulldogs almost hit back when a short kick by Kirren Roughley was gathered by Gary Warburton who crossed near the posts only to be ruled in front of the kicker.
Forward Reed Harris brushed off some poor defence to score and then Bronx Goodwin scored the first of his three tries and converted 14-nil and in the final ten minutes of the first half tries were added by Cameron Docker, Harold Snell and Craig Stapleton and Goodwin converted two for the sharks to be 30-nil at the break.
Stapleton scored his second try upon resumption and from the kick off they were in again with Snell touching down and it was 40-nil.
Goodwin then added a converted try and a short kick was gathered by full back Kurt Field who scored and further tries were added by Goodwin his third, Matt Hillcoat and on the bell by Justin Rodrigues converted by Stapleton and the Sharks had improved their for and against to go ahead of Warilla but require to beat Jamberoo and Nowra-Bomaderry to upset Warilla in the final round to be minor premiers.
A word of praise to the Bulldogs 13 who tried hard all day particularly the three juniors Jeremy Organ, Rory Smith and Todd Jackson, and their best players were probably Gary Warburton and Kirren Roughley in what has been a long hard season.