Lions retain unbeaten record in final game

Featherstone Lions coach Jamie Rooney.
Featherstone Lions coach Jamie Rooney.
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National Conference League Division Three champions Featherstone Lions completed their league campaign with an unbeaten record by winning 26-14 at Hindley on Saturday.

Playing their third game in seven days, Lions had several players carrying knocks but they held out for victory.

Craig Barker had his best game of the season and set a fine lead to the younger players in the side.

Dean Gamble, Liam Jackson and teenagers Chris Box and Andy Hayburn did well in the pack while Rich Frankland, Anthony Yates and Ricky Williams were the pick of the backs.

Brendon Gibbins and George Nuttall set a fine lead early on.

Lions went ahead when Kieran Redfearn outpaced four defenders to grab a 95-yard try and Rich Frankland kicked the first of his three goals.

Unfortunately, Redfearn took no more part in the game because he was injured as he scored .

Danny Glassell’s superb break then set up a try for Williams.

Yates made a superb take from a high kick before Hindley opened their account.

Lions made it 16-4 when Frankland regathered his own clever kick and fed Jackson who sent in Dan Dixon.

On the stroke of half-time, Hindley cut the gap to six points.

Lions came under pressure early in the second-half.

Hindley’s niggly tactics seemed to rattle several Lions p[layers and they conceded silly penalties.

Barker showed his experience in the pack to lead the youngsters back into the game. Nuttall and Dixon went close before Hepworth beat four men to score a fine solo try.

Lions then had a man sin binned and Hindley capitalised on the extra man to score.

William danced over from a scrum in the dying minutes to seal Featherstone’s win.

Great credit must go to Lions coach Jamie Rooney who has guided the team to promotion in his first full season. His coaching staff of Darren Roberts, Kev Glassell and Kev Eadie have provided invaluable help while team manager Keith Bell was praised by Rooney for all his hard work throughout the season along with back room men Paul Crane, Lee Maiden and Jack Brown.

The players thanked the sponsors and fans for their backing especially Kerry Frankland, Bernard Nuttall and Keith Rubery.

Lions drew 16-16 with Underbank Rangers in a midweek game at the Millpond Stadium.

Sam Millard had his best game of the season while Craig Barker, Scott Wilson and Danny Glassell went well.

Anthony Yates, Rich Frankland and Matty Johnson were the best backs.

Keiran Redfearn, Millard and Yates defended well as Lions soaked up early pressure before Yates scored from Johnson’s kick. Underbank hit back with two tries and a conversion to lead 10-4 and had another effort ruled out for a forward pass.

Glassell then scored a superb 55 yard solo try by bursting through Underbank’s defence and and selling a dummy to the full back.

Glassell kicked the conversion to level the scores.

Brendon Gibbins and Davi Garahan went close for Lions before Underbank regained the lead. Lions rallied in the final quarter with Millard, Wilson and Dean Gamble setting a strong lead.

A deft chip by Jack Candlin saw Williams grab a try that Candlin goaled to level the scores.

Yates was recalled for a forward pass with a try on the cards and he then made a superb take from a high kick as honours finished even.