IAN Hardman scored 18 points with a try and seven goals as Featherstone beat Batley Bulldogs 42-14 at LD Nutrition Stadium to go just one point behind second-placed London Broncos in the Kingstone Press Championship.
Scott Turner bagged Featherstone’s first two tries as they inflicted Batley’s first defeat in four games.
In a stop-start match, referee Jonathan Roberts was often the centre of attention after awarding 33 penalties - 17-16 in Featherstone’s favour - and sin-binning Batley’s Dane Manning and Tom Lillycrop and Featherstone’s Chris Ulugia in the second-half.
Rovers were only 16-14 up early in the second period but then ran away with the game by scoring 26 unanswered points.
Andy Bostock marked his 150th appearance for Rovers with his 100th career try.
Bostock, Darrell Griffin and Misi Taulapapa weere key figures in Featherstone’s second-half domination.
Batley took a fifth minute lead when Bradley Day scored from a kick by Pat Walker who converted.
Rovers hit back when Turner was awarded a penalty try after he was impeded as he attempted to get to Anthony Thackeray’s kick.
Turner then collected his second touchdown from another Thackeray kick.
Subsitute Jordan Baldwinson put Rovers further ahead shortly after he went on by plunging over from close range from Keal Carlile’s pass.
Batley cut the gap before half-time when Wayne Reittie capitalised on Dom Brambani’s kick to the corner.
The Bulldogs got the start they needed in the second period when Shaun Ainscough scored from Walker’s clever crossfield kick but Rovers soon bounced back when Jack Ormondroyd stormed over from 20 yards out.
Ulugia was sin-binned but Featherstone stretched their lead when Carlile put in John Davies and Bostock also crossed.
Manning was sin binned n the 65th minute and Lillycrop was yellow carded 10 minutes later before Hardman’s try completed the scoring.
Featherstone: Hardman; Turner, Hardcastle, Ulugia, Taulapapa; Thackeray, Wildie; Bostock, Carlile, Griffin, Walton, Davies, Walters. Subs: Moore, Lockwood, Baldwinson, Ormondroyd.
Batley Bulldogs: Scott; Reittie, Smeaton, Crookes, Ainscough; Walker, Brambani; Gledhill, Leak, Lillycrop, Manning, Farrell, Day Subs: Southernwood, Rowe, Harrison, Brown.
Referee: Jonathan Roberts.