Featherstone Lions clinched promotion for the second year running, but were made to work hard for their 34-28 win over Dudley Hill in Division Two of the National Conference.
Kev Eadie took the MOM award with two fine solo tries while in-form Ian Jackson, Danny Glassell and Gaz Gale all played well and teenager George Nuttall gave a no nonsense display in the pack with workhorse Adam Hepworth.
Rich Frankland also made a telling impact on his introduction from the bench, but this was not one of Lions’ better displays and coach Jamie Rooney laid the law down as they conceded two tries in five minutes after looking well in control at 34-16.
Lions made a good start, though, almost scoring in the opening minutes as Scott Glassell’s fine pass sent Gale racing away, but his pass was spilled by Anthony Yates with the line wide open.
Gale, Adam Curtis and Jackson worked hard in defence, but Dudley Hill opened the scoring with a converted try before the Lions replied following a Scott Glassell 40-20 when the canny Eadie showed a fine turn of pace to race over from 25 yards out. Jackson’s conversion made it 6-6.
Yates then took a high bomb and Nuttall and Curtis made some good yards before a superb defence splitting pass from Frankland saw teenager Gale race away from 35 yards for a try converted by Jackson.
But Hill hit back to make it 12-10 at half-time and scored first after the break to lead by four before Featherstone then began to get a grip as Danny Glassell went over for a solo try and Jackson goaled.
Hardcastle then made amends for a poor drop goal attempt earlier with a fine 45-metre run. Frankland almost went over as he showed a rare turn of pace, but was caught inches from the line. However, crisp handling saw Reece Dyaes go over wide out.
Hill put on a good spell of pressure, but with Matty Johnson, Curtis Nuttall and Jackson working hard Lions held firm and increased their lead as after a good Hardcastle break Eadie went solo again with a blistering turn of speed to score. Jackson’s conversion made it 28-16.
Another try followed as Scott and Danny Glassell combined to send Johnson over.
Jackson’s goal made it 34-16, but Lions then had a man sent to the sin-bin as the game got a bit heated and Dudley Hill hit back with two tries. However, after Rooney’s words Lions held firm for their victory.
Lions now host top of the table Millom in a mouth watering final fixture of the season on October 3 at the Millpond Stadium.
Lock Lane now find themselves only two points clear of the relegation zone in the Premier Division after losing 28-18 at home to Wath Brow Hornets.
They started well as winger Connor Turner crossed for the opening try after 18 minutes, but they had to wait until a brace from loose-forward Jordan Siddons in the final nine minutes to get over the whitewash again.
Scrum-half Danny Rowse landed three goals for the hosts, who need to pick up points in their two remaining games.
The Hornets led 14-8 at half-time thanks to tries from Charlie Tomlinson and Rhys Pritchard and two of stand-off Fran King’s four-goal haul.
They then closed out the win with converted second period efforts from King and full-back Peter Caddy. Hooker Cole Walker-Taylor also chipped in with a goal in each half.
Lock Lane A gave an assured performance in their final game of the 2015 league season with an 11-try show in a 60-4 win over Scarborough Pirates A.
Lane led 32-4 at the break after weathering an early storm from the much larger visitors. Kieran Cooper opened his account with an early brace before centre Josh Steels and full-back Joe Willock both crossed in long range efforts. Stand-off Craig Duncan showed good pace to finish a lengthy spell of passing before the Pirates replied with an unconverted try out wide. Willock scored his second just before half-time and Cooper added his fourth goal.
Lane never let up in the second half as half-backs Morgan Punchard and Duncan tried to release outside backs Jake Connelly and Lee Alderson at every opportunity.
Sub Jack Bassinder scored a nice try after a series of sparkling runs closely followed by a gritty effort by Woods. Willock completed his hat-trick before Cooper skipped over for his fourth try and kicked his eighth goal to end the scoring.