James Webster delighted as Featherstone Rovers claim dramatic win over York City Knights
Featherstone Rovers maintained their 100 per cent start to the Championship season with a dramatic victory over York City Knights on Sunday.
The sides were level at 12-12 on the scoreboard with just minutes remaining when Craig Hall became the hero for the visitors as he scored the winning try to make it four league wins from four in 2021.
With York on the attack, Riley Dean lined up a drop-goal attempt but saw his effort charged down by Dane Chisholm with Hall pouncing on the loose ball to gather and sprint 70 metres to evade the chasing defenders.
York had taken the lead after just six minutes when Matty Marsh scored underneath the posts.
It didn’t take long for Webster’s side to respond, however, as Gareth Gale handed off three defenders to dot down on the right edge after 13 minutes.
Nu Brown’s kick was unsuccessful as the sides continued to slug it out in an energy-sapping contest.
York gained a man advantage when John Davies was sin-binned just before the half-hour mark and the hosts immediately capitalised when Liam Salter scored from Marsh’s pass.
Brown cut the gap to six points just before half-time with a penalty goal.
It took 17 minutes for the first points of the second half to arrive with Gale claiming his second to cut York’s lead to two points.
Brown was unable to convert but hauled Rovers level soon after as he kicked a penalty goal from in front of the posts. Then, with York looking for a winning drop-goal, Chisholm and Hall combined to win the game for Featherstone.
Rovers boss James Webster was delighted that his side came out on the right side of the tight contest and felt the dominance down the middle built the platform for the victory.
He said: “I thought it was a really tough game and full credit to both teams. I thought they really tried their hearts out and the game was played between the two 20-metre lines.
“There wasn’t a lot of good ball for us. We spoke all week about winning what we call the Championship rounds, we thought we could get them at the end of the game.
“I didn’t think it was going to be the last three minutes but I thought two quality sides slugged it out for a good period of the game.”
He added: “I thought we dominated the middle of the park. We had the tempo with the play the balls and we didn’t get many six-again calls but we were able to roll down the pitch pretty easily.
“That has been us this year, our middles have been very good.”
York city Knights: K Dixon, Bass, Atkins, Salter, Jones-Bishop, Marsh, Dean, R Dixon, Clarkson, Baldwinson, Kirmond, Scott, Spears. Subs: Jubb, Stock, Green, Porter.
Featherstone Rovers: Chisholm, Hall, Hardcastle, Minns, Gale, Holmes, Brown, Lockwood, Jones, Kopczak, Moors, Day, Bussey. Subs: Davies, Cooper, Halton, Parata.
Referee: Chris Kendall