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Report – Featherstone take the spoils despite Lions’ valiant second half effort

19 April 2021

Featherstone Rovers bounced back from their cup exit last weekend to claim victory over the Lions with some clinical finishing running in seven tries in a fast flowing encounter.

Swinton Lions 6-36 Featherstone Rovers

James Webster made changes to his starting team and the Lions were no match for them in the early stages. Rovers opened the scoring in the first five minutes when a good passing movement ended with Tom Holmes sending Gareth Gale over on the left but Fa’amanu Brown could not add the conversion from the touch line.

The ball was going through hands at a blistering pace at times and the second try was just as good when Holmes this time chipped through the Lions defence and bounced between two defenders straight into Holmes who regathered to score and this time Brown did convert to give his side a ten point lead.

The third try quickly followed when Gale broke down the left to draw the defence and send Thomas Minns away to touchdown in the left corner, however there was no conversion and the Lions looked a little shell shocked.

It could have got even worse for the Lions on twenty-four minutes when Connor Jones shot through a gap and headed for the try line only to be brought back for a forward pass in the build-up. The home side almost got on the scoreboard on the half hour mark when Mike Butt went close but was tackled into touch.

Rovers’ fourth try came six minutes before the break when Gale was tackled just short and from the play the ball it was fizzed to the right where Brad Day was on hand to crash over and Brown converted this one. With the half time hooter coming up they added another when Brett Ferres broke through to feed the supporting John Davies who ducked under a couple of tackles to score by the posts.

The Lions started brighter in the second half and they had the first chance when a measured kick by Martyn Ridyard was chased by Luis Roberts but the ball just ran away from him as he tried to touch it down.

Ben Blackmore scored the next Rovers try on fifty-six minutes when Holmes and Minns combined to put him over on the left but the conversion was missed.

The Lions then turned great defence into attack midway through the half when firstly Gale was unable to take a pass to score and from the resulting restart Mike Butt broke down the left to draw Craig Hall before passing to the supporting Mitch Cox who raced in to score and Ridyard converted.

In the latter stages of the game both sets of defence were made to work hard to keep each other out with firstly Craig Kopczak being held up just short of the line and then former Lion Frankie Halton thwarted an attack when he managed to knock a pass down to stop a Lions try. However, it was Blackmore who added his second try in the dying seconds when the ball was chipped over the top and he won the race to score in the left corner and as Brown added the touchline conversion the hooter sounded for the end of a good encounter.

Ian Rigg at Heywood Road

Swinton CEO Steve Wild said, “I felt we came back into it very strongly in the second half, but Featherstone’s first half performance was as good as anything I’ve seen at this level in a good while. They were both solid defensively and clinical in attack.”


22 Geronimo Doyle

1 Mike Butt

3 Mitch Cox

25 Luis Roberts

2 Richard Lepori

6 Martyn Ridyard

7 Jack Hansen

15 Louis Brogan

9 Luke Waterworth

8 Sam Brooks

11 Rhodri Lloyd

13 Will Hope

39 Tom Spencer

Subs (all used)

5 Sam Grant

18 Cobi Green

16 Paddy Jones

26 Jordan Brown

Try: Cox (64)

Goal: Ridyard 1/1


1 Craig Hall

2 Ben Blackmore

3 Kris Welham

17 Thomas Minns

5 Gareth Gale

6 Tom Holmes

9 Fa’amanu Brown

8 Craig Kopczak

14 Connor Jones

13 James Lockwood

12 Brad Day

11 Brett Ferres

16 Jack Bussey

Subs (all used)

21 Dean Parata

31 Junior Moors

15 John Davies

20 Frankie Halton

Tries: Gale (5), Holmes (15), Minns (17), Day (34), Davies (37), Blackmore (56,79)

Goals: Brown 4/7


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