WOOLSTON Rovers suffered late heartbreak as they fell 13-12 at home to Normanton Knights in National Conference League Division Two at Monk Sports Club.

In a very nip and tuck first half, defences were on top meaning that chances were at a premium but then five minutes before the break Rovers centre Cameron Davies was sin-binned for a swinging arm while Knights full-back Connor Wilson was also yellow carded for reacting.

The penalty was awarded to Rovers and stand-off Craig Lawton found second-row Dan Fearnley who managed to twist in the tackle and force his way over from close range. Lawton converted to give his side a 6-0 half-time lead.

Eleven minutes into the second half Normanton prop forward Stuart Biscomb powered over from close range. Stand-off Jacob Crossland converted.

Just after the hour Crossland landed a drop goal to put the visitors ahead but almost immediately Rovers moved down field and the ball reached centre Sam Vernon who broke through to score on the right. Lawton added the conversion.

With three minutes remaining of normal time Normanton scrum-half Keiran Hinchliffe caught the Rovers defence in two minds and shot through a gap to score at the left of the posts.

Crossland converted but then eight minutes into injury time Rovers were awarded a penalty wide out on the left.

Several Knights players took issue with the decision and it resulted in Normanton's Biscomb, Connor Wilson and Charlie Barber being dismissed by the referee.

The penalty attempt just drifted wide and Normanton held on to claim a hard-fought victory.

Best for Rovers were second-row Dan Fearnley, substitute Matt Taylor and prop forward Harry Files.

After the game Rovers head coach Billy Sheen said: “We didn’t start well and it kind of set the tone for the game.

"We created an arm wrestle that we shouldn’t have really had to do against them but due to errors and ill discipline we ended up in one for 80 minutes.

"We were really good in defence so I am pleased with that but we were so disjointed in attack.

"It really showed that we need to train together more as at times it looked like the lads didn’t know each other.

"Hopefully it is just a blip as we cannot afford any more if we have aspirations of going up to Division One.”

Rovers: James Tarpey, Alex Pendlebury, Cameron Davies, Sam Vernon, Karlton Bates, Craig Lawton, Joe Roper, Harry Files, Adam Files, Ryan Hickman, Scott Whiteley, Dan Fearnley, Ryan Brown. Subs: Kieran Moore, Tom Atherton, Ben Crewe, Matt Taylor.

Woolston's North West Men's League side have had to withdraw from Division Two due to a lack of numbers, with injuries taking their toll.

Rovers will look to play Merit League games for the rest of the season, dependant on numbers.