Reaching a Wembley a 'dream come true' for Featherstone Rovers' Tom Holmes

GETTING TO Wembley is a “dream come true” for Featherstone Rovers half-back Tom Holmes who admits he will recognise plenty of familiar faces in the crowd next month.

Wednesday, 9th June 2021, 6:00 am
Tom Holmes (left) and Connor Jones (right) celebrate after reaching Wembley. Picture: Dec Hayes Photography.
Tom Holmes (left) and Connor Jones (right) celebrate after reaching Wembley. Picture: Dec Hayes Photography.

Rovers face York City Knights in the 1895 Cup final at midday on July 17 after beating Widnes Vikings in last weekend’s semi-final.

Featherstone’s victory came a day after neighbours and rivals Castleford Tigers had defeated Warrington Wolves in a thrilling contest to reach the Challenge Cup final, which will be played on the same day at the same venue at 3pm.

“It is amazing to think Cas and Fev will both be there at Wembley on the same day,” said Holmes, who hails from Castleford.

“It’s never happened before and I’ll probably know every man and his dog in the stadium!

“It’s great for both clubs as both towns are rugby-mad.

“I’m not sure if Cas fans will watch the Fev game but hopefully there’ll be a good contingent down there and it’s a dream come true for me to get there.”

Webster’s side led 16-0 against the Vikings after 12 minutes thanks to two tries from Brad Day and one from Craig Kopczak.

Tom Holmes. Picture: Dec Hayes Photography.

However, Steve Tyrer and Adam Lawton hit back to reduce the deficit to four points before Frankie Halton scored the hosts’ fourth try of the game following a magnificent break from Nu Brown.

Lawton scored his second just before the hour mark to add more tension to the contest. Craig Hall kicked a penalty goal to give Featherstone a six-point lead, which they held onto as they booked their place at Wembley.

Holmes set up two tries for Day and continued: “That was probably the toughest game we’ve had yet.

“It was end to end stuff but I think we needed that; it’s better to win a tight semi-final like that than by winning by 30 points.

“It was a really tough game. Widnes have a lot of experienced Super League players in there and it showed with the way they played.

“It could have gone either way with five minutes to go and it definitely took a lot out of us.”

Featherstone’s only defeat this year has come at the hands of Hull FC in the Challenge Cup. They are unbeaten in the Championship this year but Holmes added: “It’s crazy to say but I don’t think we’ve even played our best yet.

“We’ve still got quite a lot to give. You can’t argue with what we’ve done so far - seven from seven in the league and getting to the 1895 final as well - so it’s scary to think we’ve still got a lot more to come.

“We’ve still been getting wins when we’ve not been playing our best.”