Jackson points way as Featherstone Lions seal play-offs place

Captain Ian Jackson breaches the Shaw Cross line to score a first half try for Featherstone Lions. Picture: Jonathan Buck
Captain Ian Jackson breaches the Shaw Cross line to score a first half try for Featherstone Lions. Picture: Jonathan Buck

Featherstone Lions booked a spot in the National Conference Division One play-offs when they easily beat Shaw Cross Sharks 72-16.

The Lions had the points in the bag by half-time with a 46-6 lead, but credit was due to a gutsy Shaw Cross side that travelled with just 13 men and never gave up.
Skipper Ian Jackson led the scoring with 28 points courtesy of two tries and 10 goals while Gaz Gale, Dean Gamble and Gaz Williamson crossed for a brace of tries apiece.
Jack Ellam, Tom Wandless, Jake Perkins, Sam Millard and Scott Glassell also crossed the line while the gallant Sharks posted tries by Ben Lyles, Marcus Stocks and Alex Whittaker, plus two Paul March goals.
Williamson was marking his long awaited comeback with his double with Sam Millard having his best game for a long time and Scott Glassell also shining in the pack.
In the backs Jackson and Gale were always busy.
Scott Glassell was first to get the scoreboard moving as he went in off a Jackson chip to open the scoring for Lions with Jackson’s goal making it 6-0.
Jackson scorched through for a solo try and converted his own effort to double the advantage.
Scott Glassell then sent Millard through a gap for a try with Jackson tagging on the kick.
Millard’s break led to Gale coasting over the line and Jackson’s fourth goal made it 24-0.
Dean Gamble then got in on the act as he powered over for a try converted by Jackson and Tom Wandless was next to score as he raced 35 yards.
Shaw Cross hit back after a Lions mistake led to a try and goal, but a fine Scott Glassell ball saw Williamson race away before parting to Gale who got his second try.
Jackson tagged on the points and kicked another goal soon after following Gamble’s second try to make it 46-6 at half-time.
With the heavy rain becoming worse handling errors for both sides were starting to happen and the visitors had a spell near the Lions line, but with Gamble, Rich Frankland and Bailey Barker grafting hard Featherstone held them out.
Teenager Jack Ellam went over for his first senior try as he finished off in style.
Williamson then galloped 50 yards for a solo try before Shaw Cross hit back with a try and goal to make it 54-12.
After a Danny Gilbert break Jake Perkins backed up to go over the line and Jackson’s conversion brought up the 60 points. Jackson then scored a fine solo try as he ghosted through the Cross defence he also added the extras.
Poor Lions marking led to a Cross try, bit it was fitting that Williamson finished off the scoring with his second try as he smashed his way over, Jackson adding the points to round off the scoring at 72-16.
This was a better display by the Lions after their shocking display at Pilkingtons and they will now play their final league game this Saturday when they visit Milford Marlins with a 2.30pm kick-off.

Tom Wandless dives over for a first half try for Featherstone Lions against Shaw Cross Sharks. Picture: Jonathan Buck

Tom Wandless dives over for a first half try for Featherstone Lions against Shaw Cross Sharks. Picture: Jonathan Buck

Try time for Featherstone Lions' BARLA tourist Dean Gamble against Shaw Cross Sharks. Picture: Jonathan Buck

Try time for Featherstone Lions' BARLA tourist Dean Gamble against Shaw Cross Sharks. Picture: Jonathan Buck

Scott Glassell dives over for the first try in Featherstone Lions' win against Shaw Cross Sharks. Picture: Jonathan Buck

Scott Glassell dives over for the first try in Featherstone Lions' win against Shaw Cross Sharks. Picture: Jonathan Buck

Gaz Williamson on a powerful run on the way to a second half try for Featherstone Lions against Shaw Cross Sharks. Picture: Jonathan Buck

Gaz Williamson on a powerful run on the way to a second half try for Featherstone Lions against Shaw Cross Sharks. Picture: Jonathan Buck